What is a Community Oral Health Coalition?
The purpose of the coalitions is to promote optimum oral health for all residents. This goal is accomplished through oral health advocacy, public awareness and education. Several Kansas communities have established oral health coalitions to reduce oral disease in young children and students, to increase oral health services in nursing homes, and to conduct oral health education sessions for social service agencies. Community coalitions are linked to and supported by Oral Health Kansas, the statewide coalition. Here are some resources we can provide you!
  • Consultation to work with your community to improve its oral health
  • Share examples from communities that have improved oral health outcomes
  • Links to other communities that are working toward similar goals

Click on the county name below to see more information about that county’s coalition.

Butler County
For many years an early childhood coalition in Butler County has addressed the needs of young families. Through the Midwest Collaborative Initiative, the coalition added an oral health focus in 2015. The immediate project was to incorporate oral health screenings in addition to the ongoing developmental screenings done for pre-school children throughout the county. Over 200 children have been seen each year since 2016. Families are coached on daily dental care habits and making good choices in their diet. Free toothbrushing kits are distributed. Referrals are made for follow-up dental treatment, when appropriate. Fluoride varnish is applied when parents agree.

Contact: Susan

Finney County
Shortly after 2000, an oral health coalition in Finney County came together to fight for community water fluoridation. After this successful effort, the members disbanded. In 2015, the coalition was re-started. The coalition members adopted the goal of educating families and raising awareness of the importance of good oral health. Many of the immigrant families attracted to the area by the agricultural industry do not fully utilize the dental benefits available to them through their employers. Coalition members distribute toothbrushing kits, host informational booths at community fairs, and share educational materials in order to raise awareness.

Johnson County
In 2015, community members in Johnson County formed an oral health community coalition aimed at improving the oral health of the area’s older adults.  Arrangements were made with Meals on Wheels to distribute toothbrushing kits. Community congregate meal sites also distributed dental care kits and received the additional benefit of a presentation on oral health basics from a dental professional.
A review of Kansas state regulations pertaining to dental care in senior adult care facilities, showed Kansas lagging behind most other states. Suggested revisions and edits to the state regulations are under review by aging services and oral health stakeholders. The Johnson County coalition is currently developing and piloting a model to provide dental hygiene services to older adults “aging in place”.

Contact: Marcia

Leavenworth County
This community oral health coalition formed in 2017. Leavenworth County has large numbers of military families. The coalition plans to build on the work of a previous early childhood coalition. Their first program will be to add the Brush, Book, Bed program into all early learning home visitation services in the county. Consideration is also being given to adding oral health screenings to developmental screenings done on all pre-school aged children.

Contact: Maureen

Shawnee County
Established in 2015, this community oral health coalition has as its focus children aged birth through three years of age. They adapted the Brush, Book, Bed program from one designed by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in pediatricians’ offices. The coalition’s vision was to take the program into community-based settings by partnering with existing early childhood home visitation programs. The coalition expanded Brush, Book, Bed in 2017 to TARC, a community developmental disabilities organization. Through this project expansion, families that include a parent and a child with a developmental disability can learn how to create a bedtime routine of brushing teeth and reading books.
In 2016, the Shawnee County coalition convened a group of 15 community organizations to host a series of legislative candidate forums. Deemed a huge success by both the public and the candidates, this process will be replicated in 2018.

Contact: Kate

Wyandotte County
This newly-formed oral health community coalition is led by the local health department. They plan to focus on raising public awareness of the importance of oral health in the community. They will influence the messages of numerous existing health initiatives to include an oral health component.  The coalition is a subgroup of the current Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) focus of access to healthcare which includes medical, dental and mental health. The coalition will be focusing on the goal of improving access to a dental home within three areas:
  • Research
  • Education
  • Outreach

Contact: Julie

For more information about the coalitions, email

Community Coalition Educational Resources
Click on the video icon to view the video of that topic.

Grassroots Based Mode

Intro to Power Analysis

Oral Health Coalitions Engaged in Civic Action

Coalition Building 101

Strategic and Action Planning

Community Assessment


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