The Weekly Wednesday Update is our newsletter which we email every Wednesday with oral health, health and policy updates from around the state and nationally.

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May 18, 2022
Volume 13, Issue 20


As Session Comes to an End

Legislators will wrap up the session on May 23 and will be on break during the summer and fall months until legislative sessions commences in January 2023. Although they’re not at the Statehouse making decisions, they are still working on issues in their communities. This is an opportunity for you to meet with your House and Senate members in your hometown. If you are not sure who your legislators are, watch this video snip from the Oral Health Kansas Advocacy Toolkit to walk you step by step to find your legislators.

Here are some ways to contact your legislator. Watch each video snip to walk you through the steps:

You may also hear about your legislators meeting with constituents at a coffee shop or public meeting over the summer and fall. Taking part in these meetings is one of the best ways to get to know your elected officials and share your expertise and ideas. Find out when these events are held by watching your local news or following your legislator on social media.



National Smile Month

May 16 - June 16 marks National Smile Month. Our smiles are a way to share kindness! Although many of us are “smilers,” not everyone feels comfortable in showing their smile. Nearly half of young adults have untagged themselves from a photo on Facebook because of their smile. Taking good care of our oral health is one way to feel more confident smiling. Let’s keep our mouths fresh and our smiles happy!

  • Brush for two minutes two times a day with fluoride toothpaste and don’t forget to floss!
  • Visit your dentist
  • Drink fluoridated water
  • Rethink your drink! Limit the amount of sugary beverages you consume

For oral health Tips and Tricks, check out our website with various printable documents you can distribute!



Celebrating Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

As we continue to celebrate the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, Asian American Native Hawaiin Pacific Islander heritage month, we also look at the health disparities these populations face. Recent priorities for grantmakers have focused on racial equity, health and well-being, and immigrant rights. Grantmakers in Health says in an article Views from the Field, investments for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs) have been under-resourced and deprioritized, receiving only 0.26 percent of philanthropic dollars and 0.17 percent of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Very little research focuses explicitly on oral health in Pacific Islands countries and territories (PICT). Dental caries and periodontal diseases have been identified as the most significant oral health issues faced by PICTs.

Here are some interesting health facts:

What can we do to help?

  • Share data and bring awareness to the underserved populations
  • Work on solutions to reduce disparities
  • The absence of linguistically and culturally suitable resources is a major obstacle to care for AAPI. Therefore, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) website posts civil rights and health information privacy consumer information in the 15 most frequently spoken languages in the United States.(https://www.hhs.gov/about/whiaanhpi/resources/index.html,https://www.justice.gov/crs/translated-resources)
  • Community-based services, such as community health centers and community-based organizations, are vital to AAPI communities' health maintenance and improvement. To increase the capabilities of community-based organizations and agencies to serve the rapidly rising AAPI population, more resources and assistance are required (Ro. M, 2002). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447107/

Alaska Dental Action Coalition and Hawaii Oral Health Coalition are both American Network of Oral Health Coalition members. Find out more on the ANOHC website.

Families USA will host a virtual roundtable inviting AAPI leaders to share their thoughts and have an open dialogue about an array of health-related topics that affect the AAPI community, including access to health services, vaccine equity, mental health, and policy advocacy on Tuesday, May 24 at 12pm CST. Click here for more information.



Kansas Advocates for Better Care Seeks New Staff Member

Kansas Advocates for Better Care/KABC is seeking candidates for the position of Engagement and Individual Giving Coordinator. This full time position will be responsible for increasing public engagement across Kansas with our mission and diversifying the KABC budget by increasing donors and donations. Interested applicants are asked to send their resume, cover letter and supporting documentation to KABC at dangoodman@kabc.org or mail where applicable to:  Kansas Advocates for Better Care, 536 Fireside Court, Suite B, Lawrence, KS 66049.

Read the complete job description here: https://www.kabc.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/5-2022-Engagement-Individual-Giving-Coordinator-Job-Posting.pdf



Upcoming Events

  • Webinar: Mister Rogers and Individuals with Disabilities, Monday, May 23rd at 11:00am CST. Register here.
  • Webinar: The Brain-Mouth Connection: Mental Health & Oral Health. Tuesday, May 24th, 2:00pm-2:20pm CST. Register here.
  • Webinar: Oral Health Systems Change Webinar Series, Tuesday, June 14, 6-7:30pm CST and Thursday, June 30, 6-7:30pm CST. To sign up for June 14, Session 1, click here
    and o sign up for June 30, Session 2, click here.  
  • Webinar: Leveraging Healthy People 2030 to Address Issues Affecting Children, Mothers and Families, June 22, 2:00pm CST. Click here to register.
  • Save the Date! 16th Kansas Disability Caucus on August 10th-12th. Click here for details.
  • 2022 Conference on Oral Health: Friday, November 4. Conference will be a hybrid event. Thursday, November 3: Dental Champions Reception





OHK Board Member, Whitney Zamora, recently graduated with her Master of Public Health from Berkeley, University of California. Whitney is a Registered Dental Hygienist, President of the Kansas Dental Hygienist Association and was instrumental in designing our Advocacy Toolkit. We are so proud of your accomplishments and are eager to see your journey ahead!




Sugary Drink Display Sanitation

Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending use of the Sugary Drink Display until further notice.

During this time, hand washing and social distancing is on everyone’s mind. We want everyone to have the comfort of knowing we sanitize our sugary drink displays. They are wiped down and cleaned off after they have been returned.



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