You may have already read about Dr. Everson’s experience with Give Kids A Smile Day in February. Over 450 kids without access to dental care were given preventative and restorative care on February 3rd and 4th. But just who is behind that awesome event? SCOHAC (Sonoma County Oral Health Access Coalition)!
In 2009 it was determined that, in Sonoma County, “almost half of our kindergarteners and about 6 out of 10 3rd graders have experienced tooth decay, and over 16% of them have untreated decay.” (Sonoma Smile Survey 2009, Sonoma Health Alliance) The Sonoma County Health Access Coalition works with dentists and organizations to provide local individuals with the oral health care everyone deserves.
What to know a little more about SCOHAC?
The mission of SCOHAC is to collaborate in the promotion of oral health through advocacy, prevention, education and improved access to care for all people in our community.
Influence Policy and Legislation by advocating for fluoridation of public water supplies, increased access for children’s dental services, expansion of dental insurance programs and improved private provider networks.
Mobilize neighborhoods and communities by identifying common goals and a set of community indicators for children’s oral health and organize as a community advisory group.
Change organizational practices by promoting efforts to establish a dental home for every child and encouraging health care providers to detect dental caries as a primary health care prevention strategy.
Foster coalition and networks by convening quarterly; connecting networks of dental providers; encouraging childhood obesity, nutrition and oral health coalitions to understand the linkages and work together collaboratively.
Educate providers by conducting an education campaign to make oral health an accepted part of overall health care and services.
Promote community education by educating and training teachers, parents, nurses, childcare providers and others who serve children about oral health issues and the integrating of oral health messages into communications at all service sites.
Strengthen individual knowledge and skills so service and medical providers can educate parents about the importance of using dental insurance and early periodic dental visits for children: Expand education programs for families about oral health and hygiene.
For questions or information about SCOHAC or our oral health programs, please contact: Susan Cooper, DDS, Chair SCOHAC and Dental Director, Community Action Partnership at email@example.com