Halloween decorations, costumes, and orange everything have all but disappeared. Suddenly winter holiday decorations are everywhere! What happened to Thanksgiving, an opportune time to reflect and acknowledge gratitude? Kentucky Oral Health Coalition has so much to be thankful for this year, most of all YOU, our members, partners, and oral health advocates. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, let’s acknowledge what we are thankful for and take a moment to recognize the collaborative effort necessary to improve oral health for all people of Kentucky. We take this opportunity to share our good news with a list of accomplishments in the following KOHC year in review.
- National Children’s Dental Health Month 2021 – KOHC celebrated National Children’s Dental Health Month in February by covering a new topic each week and highlighting the importance of maintaining good oral health habits and practicing oral hygiene to improve overall health.
- March 2021 Quarterly Meeting – The first KOHC quarterly meeting of 2021 highlighted state and federal policy priorities, updates about COVID-19 vaccines, and the Southeast Kentucky Oral Health Coalition.
- KOHC 2021 Policy Wins – During the 2021 legislative session, we saw several priorities make it through the legislative process or be included in the final budget and a number of opportunities for future legislative work. Read more on our blog.
- April 2021 Child Abuse Prevention Month – Throughout the month of April, KOHC partnered with Delta Dental of Kentucky and the Kosair Charities Face It Movement to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month with a free training on recognizing and reporting the signs of pediatric abusive head trauma and a new online toolkit for health and oral health professionals.
- June 2021 Quarterly Meeting – Similar to previous years, the Annual Regional Oral Health Summit was held in conjunction with the KOHC June quarterly meeting. Dr. Pam Stein VanArsdall presented oral cancer updates for dental professionals and Mahak Kalra presented new resources and policy updates. Throughout the month of June, we also celebrated National Dental Care Month with new topics each week.
- October 2021 Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma Training – Oral health professionals from across the state came together during TEN-4 Week for a Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma training to learn about the TEN-4 Bruising Rule and how to recognize and report signs of child abuse and neglect inside and outside the dental office as well as ways oral health professionals can apply this training in practice.
- National Dental Hygiene Month – KOHC took part in recognizing October as National Dental Hygiene Month and an opportunity to promote good dental hygiene for individuals of all ages and recognize the important role that dental hygienists play as part of the health team and community.
To close out the year, KOHC is excited to host our annual meeting with support from CareQuest on Friday, December 17, 2021 highlighting a special presentation from Dr. Carlos S. Smith, titled Advancing Towards True Health Equity: A History of Racism in Healthcare. Register here.
It has been a busy year. There is much to be hopeful for in the upcoming year. On this Thanksgiving, we want to convey our genuine appreciation and thank you for being an integral part of the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition. Additionally, we are truly indebted to the KOHC steering committee who contributed their time and expertise in countless ways.
- KOHC Chair, Dr. Stephanie Poynter, DMD
- Jennifer Hasch, BS, RDH
- Leah Smothers, RDHD
- Dr. Pam Stein VanArsdall, DMD
- Dr. Justin Whitney, DMD
- Dr. Julie Watts McKee, State Dental Director
Image provided by Pro-Church-Media – Unsplash