The Kentucky Oral Health Coalition is proud of our accomplishments this past year. As we prepare for the annual KOHC June membership drive during Oral Health Month it seems fitting to reflect on achievements in the 2019-2020 membership year. 

Starting off the membership year, KOHC collected responses to a short survey during Summer 2019 to determine dental professionals’ knowledge around child abuse and neglect. View survey findings here.

Last fall former Governor Bevin, Mayor Fischer, and Mayor Gorton Proclaimed October 4 as TEN-4 Day. This impactful day emphasized the importance of training adults on recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse by presenting Pediatric abusive head trauma (AHT) trainings and a press conference spotlighting TEN-4 Bruising Rule resources. Additionally, with support from Delta Dental of Kentucky and the Face It Movement, Two new educational videos were developed featuring KOHC steering committee members, Dr. Laura Hancock Jones and Jennifer Hasch as a resource for oral health professionals to fulfill their role as mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect and keep kids safe in their communities. 

As fall turned to winter the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition and its partners from across the state convened for the annual meeting in December. The Coalition brought together a large group of diverse leaders in the oral health community to discuss timely and relevant topics highlighting teledentistry, the role of dental professionals in ending child abuse, legislative policy priorities, increasing oral health knowledge, and an introduction to the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN).

In the new year, we strived to build awareness, educate, and equip Kentucky’s parents, health professionals, and schools with the resources to recognize the importance of oral health and how it can impact the overall health of our youngest Kentuckians. This exciting project began with a survey for health professionals, school professionals, and parents to gauge knowledge, beliefs, and needed oral health resources.

January 7 marked the beginning of Kentucky’s 2020 legislative session. KOHC advocated for policies that improve oral health for all. When the session adjourned on April 15, KOHC celebrated several oral health wins!

Spring came in like a lion but it had little to do with the weather. The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Kentucky on March 6. Governor Beshear declared a state of emergency that same day. KOHC immediately began communicating with leaders in the oral health community and hosted the Kentucky Oral Health Partner Response to COVID-19 webinar on April 3rd. This well attended, free webinar included an impactful discussion pertaining to the systemic and institutional changes to Kentucky’s oral health community as well as dialogue pertaining to policy, practice changes, and available resources. In response to the webinar KOHC, along with several key oral health partners across the state, released an infographic to provide guidance for individuals, families, and caregivers on how to approach dental care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an effort to help synthesize the new guidance surrounding Phase I Healthcare Services Reopening, the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition hosted another webinar on May 1 with over 400 registrants! This webinar resulted in the creation of the What to Expect as Dental Offices Reopen infographic.

KOHC is dedicated to monitoring the latest updates and recommendations. We will continue to share information and engage the oral health community with the dedicated webpage COVID-19 Update from KOHC.

It’s almost summer and the 2019-2020 membership year is winding down. Now is the time for a sincere THANK YOU to the members of KOHC. All of this work is possible because of you! Thank you for your input, your time, partnership, and support throughout the year. 

The Kentucky Oral Health Coalition operates with the notion that it takes a collaborative network of engaged partners from across the state to meet the core mission – to improve oral health for all people of Kentucky. Becoming a member of KOHC makes you part of this collaborative voice! KOHC relies on memberships to sustain this important work. Renew or become a member today.