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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.

To view past issues click here.


September 27, 2023
Volume 14, Issue 39


Excellence in Oral Health Award Nomination Deadline

Our Excellence in Oral Health Awards nomination deadline is coming up Friday, September 29! We have been honoring Kansans for 19 years with an Excellence in Oral Health award. We believe people should be recognized for their hard work to help improve oral health in their communities and we would like to do just that at our 2023 Conference on Oral Health, Friday, October 27. There are several categories to choose from. Choose one for your nomination:

  • Outstanding Organization Award - An organization that is distinguished from others in excellence in promoting oral health awareness in Kansas
  • Outstanding Dental Hygienist Award - A dental hygienist that is distinguished from others in excellence, who goes beyond the call of duty and is committed to improving the oral health of Kansans
  • Outstanding Dentist Award - A dentist that is distinguished from others in excellence, who goes beyond the call of duty and is committed to improving the oral health of Kansans
  • Outstanding Community Leader Award - A community leader that is distinguished from others in excellence, who goes beyond the call of duty and is committed to improving the oral health of Kansans
  • Bob Bethell Outstanding Policy Maker Award - An outstanding policy maker that is distinguished from others in excellence, who shows support for the oral health of all Kansans
  • Outstanding Oral Health Volunteer Award - An outstanding non-dental volunteer who demonstrates a positive difference in an organization - someone who saw a problem and got involved to find a solution
  • Ron Alexander Outstanding Dental Champion Award - This award is designed to recognize the outstanding work a Dental Champion has done as a direct result of participating in the Dental Champions Leadership Program.

Please note: If someone has been nominated in previous years, they are not eligible. This allows everyone an opportunity to be nominated. You can view past award winners here



We're Officially 30 Days Away

If you’re just as excited as us, you know the Conference on Oral Health is now only 30 days away! We are busy making plans with speakers, setting up logistics, working on our Give and Get Board (learn more at the conference) and counting our blessings for all of the support we have received so far!

Hear from speakers such as Aaron Bumann, a dentist at the Kansas City Dentistry for Children, on why he chooses to be a Medicaid provider and the importance for everyone to have access. Looking forward to having a speaker back this year! Tim Ricks, DMD, MPH, FICD, FACD, FPFA, former Chief Dental Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service will be speaking about the relevance of oral health across various professions, including community health workers, health insurance providers, health departments, and medical professionals. We’re excited to have leaders from the Sedation Dental Care Task Force and Pathways to Health who will share their latest work and new resources for people with disabilities and their caregivers.
There’s so much more that you won’t want to miss. State and national exhibitors will have their vendor tables in the same area as conference attendees so that you can interact with them at any given moment, not just on breaks!

Sign up to attend the conference in person or virtually. 
When: Friday, October 27

Registration opens at 7:30am. The day ends at 3:30pm
Click here to view the full schedule and register.

Where: University of Kansas Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd, Overland Park, KS 66213
Or join us virtually.

Lodging: TownePlace Suites Kansas City Overland Park, 7020 W. 133rd Street Overland Park, Kansas 66209, will have a limited number of rooms available. Click here to reserve your room.
CE's will be available.



Launching October 19!

Oral Health Kansas and the Pathways to Oral Health Team are proud to partner with the University of Kansas Medical Center and Aetna Better Health of Kansas to offer a new training series: Accessible Oral Health 2023: Building Confidence in Serving People with Disabilities.

This Project ECHO series will help dental teams learn more about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, communication strategies, sensory awareness, as well as tools and resources for treating people with disabilities.

Dental teams, including dentists, hygienists, assistants, and receptionists are encouraged to attend and learn together. This series is a not only a practice builder, but also a great opportunity for team building and education.

The series is available at lunchtime and is free of charge. Click here for more information.

Learn more and register through the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Contact Oral Health Kansas at info@oralhealthkansas.org with questions.



Kansas Included in National Story about Adult Dental Access

This week the Associated Press (AP) published a story about states expanding their Medicaid dental programs and why the need is so important. AP reporter Michael Casey tells the story of several states, including Kansas, that have begun investing in dental care for people covered by Medicaid. His reporting includes stories of several adults in Tennessee who have gained access to dental care after many years because that state has begun covering dental services for adults.

Casey reached out to Oral Health Kansas for information about our state’s new Medicaid dental benefits for adults. Kansas is one of several states that has begun providing dental care for adults within the last two years. Our state shares the challenges described by other states mentioned in the article, including a relatively small Medicaid dental provider network. Contact us at info@oralhealthkansas.org to learn how to get involved in the advocacy to further improve Medicaid dental coverage for adults,


KanCare Re-Procurement Public Meetings

Kansas is preparing to publish the request for proposal (RFP) for the re-procurement of the 2025 KanCare managed care organization (MCO) contracts in October 2023. The State will update you on how the input you provided during the April 2023 public meetings has been used to develop the RFP, including any new requirements added.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) invites providers, consumers, and advocates to attend one of the virtual information sessions listed below. State staff will be in attendance to provide updates and information about KanCare. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about how your input was used to create the RFP. This will be the only topic covered in each session. Click on the website to learn more about the meetings.



Upcoming Events

  • Conference on Oral Health - hybrid conference on Friday, October 27 at the KU Edwards Campus.
  • Webinar: Community Engagement & Cross-Sector Collaboration Learning Community Registration, December 13. Click here: bit.ly/3L2Yz11 




Lived Experience Group Member, Tavrick, presented to the Wichita State University’s Physical Therapy Department, where he shared his life journey with the students, offering them a unique perspective and promoting understanding about intellectual disabilities. Tavrick is also taking his message further by presenting at the American Physical Therapy Conference in Omaha on October 27th. We are excited for Tavrick to continue his journey as a powerful self advocate!



Sugary Drink Display

We have Adult and Children's Sugary Drink Display's available for reservations. These displays are eye catching at exhibits, schools, library, dental offices, clinics and just about anywhere you see them! We only have a limited amount so please sign up soon if you're interested in reserving one. Click here to learn more about sugary drink display reservations!

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