Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group

The Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group (DAG) formed in 2000 to provide better and more meaningful collaboration in making sure all children had access to good oral health care, the DAG is made up of nonprofits, government entities, local foundations, clinics and the dental community  and is facilitated by the Oral Health Consultant for Humboldt County Public Health.

The Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group meets every other month on the second Tuesday from 12:00-2:00.
 
Next Meeting Date:
Tuesday, February 13th 2018  12:00-2:00
Eureka Community Health & Wellness Center
2200 Tydd Street in Eureka
Our Vision
All individuals in Humboldt County, with an emphasis on children and perinatal women, have access to oral health care and preventive education.

Our Mission
As a collaborative of community organizations and stakeholders, the Dental Advisory Group is committed to:
  • Reducing the prevalence and severity of dental disease>
  • Supporting preventive oral health education through its community-based organizations
  • Linking families with dental insurance and a dental home
  • Promoting and developing dental resources
  • Facilitating discussion on the dental issues impacting our community
 
Synopsis of our local work in Oral Health-Humboldt County Pediatric Oral Health Initiative
Humboldt County has been a leader in addressing children’s oral health since early 2000 with the inception of the Dental Advisory Group and the Circle of Smiles, a significant dental initiative grant from The California Endowment.
 
On July 26, 2012, 23 representatives from a diverse group of oral health stakeholders representing Public Health, clinics, nonprofits, schools and early childhood providers participated in a first ever Children's Dental Forum which resulted in a comprehensive strategy for ensuring the oral healthcare needs of all children in our community were being met-Humboldt County Pediatric Oral Health Initiative
 
Identified Strengths: 

History of Collaboration with Informed Groups
Humboldt County Dental Advisory Group made up of nonprofits, government entities, local foundations, clinics and the dental community.  Meets every other month.  Facilitated by the Oral Health Consultant for Humboldt County Public Health.
 
Resources Available
  • 5 dental clinics that accept DentiCal
  • Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Well Child Dental Visit at WIC, Burre, UIHS
  • TOOTH education program in preschools and elementary schools
  • Open Door/Burre Dental Van in elementary schools
  • Hospital Based Dentistry at Pediatric Dental Institute in Windsor
 
Water Fluoridation
The cities of Eureka, Scotia and Arcata/Jacoby Creek water area have fluoridated water

Identified Weaknesses:
  • Limits to Specialty Dental Care
  • Need to Insure Aggressive Prevention for All Low-Income Children Who Have Restored Caries
  • A Change in the Public Perception and Culture of Oral Health
  • Change Policymaker’s Perception
  • Limited Focus on Children Leaves Others Out
  • Limit of Hospital Based Dental Services
After examination of all of these factors and in concert with the information gathered at the 2012 Forum, a final report laid the essential groundwork towards the creation of what we are now calling the Humboldt County Pediatric Oral Health Initiative. The Initiative seeks to do this work more effectively and efficiently with the desire to work “upstream” and put more emphasis on those most at risk of decay using evidenced-based prevention practices and working together to share best practices.
 
The decision was made to continue the existing work of the Dental Advisory Group as a network for front line providers but also to assemble a Pediatric Oral Health Initiative Leadership Team (POHILT) comprised of key stakeholders and decision makers representing clinics, nonprofits, HCOE, funders and Public Health to assist in the successful implementation of the goals outlined in the Initiative.
 
There are FIVE important Focus Areas that create the Initiative:

1) Data

2) Oversight, Coordination and Advocacy
3) Improving Access to Dental Services for those at Highest Risk of Dental Decay
4) Creating a Culture Shift about the Importance of Preventive Care through Education and Social Marketing
5) Increasing the Amount and Quality of Networking between New and Current Partners in Humboldt County and with other Organizations at a State and National Level.
 
Initiative Successes Thus Far:

Data
  • “Healthy Teeth for Life” Report-first baseline of data around rate of decay in Humboldt County using the Kindergarten Oral Health Assessment tool.  Humboldt County has the highest rate of return of this document of any County in the State.
  • Oversight, Coordination and Advocacy
  • Quality of DAG Meetings has Been Elevated
  • Oral Health Consultant Role
Improving Access to Dental Services for those at Highest Risk of Dental Decay
  • Successful HRSA Grant -Alignment with Initiative Goals-paved way with Children’s Dental Strategic Plan and Subsequent Creation of 3-Year Initiative-$250,000 a year for the next 3 years, focus on the 0-6 population through education and prevention related activities like varnishing.
  • Pilot Portable School Based Sealant Program (Spring 2016)-modeled after Oregon’s program.
Creating a Culture Shift about the Importance of Preventive Care through Education and Social Marketing
  • Official Roll Out of Marketing Campaign with NCDHM-Feb.2016 (HRSA Supported Effort)
  • Focus Groups-get to heart of access issues-Economic? Transportation? Other? Why no showing to appts?
Increasing the Amount and Quality of Networking between New and Current Partners in Humboldt County and with other Organizations at a State and National Level.
  • Hygienist Association
  • Great Relationship with Dental Team in Eastern Humboldt (Hoopa)-our highest need area
  • Family Resource Center Network Rep (on POHILT)
  • Dental Advisory Group
     
 
“Healthy Teeth for Life” Report-Recommendations:
  • Oral health assessments
    Develop strategies to increase number of children to receive an assessment
  • Untreated decay
  • Hospital-based dentistry
     
  • Focus groups
  • Understand parents’ perspective on bringing child to the dentist by before age 5
  • Latino, American Indian, Hmong
  • Groups with highest rates of late entry to dental care
    Use results to inform population-specific outreach efforts
     
  • Evaluation plan for sealant program
  • Collect evidence on effective school-based sealant programs
  • Set 3 & 5 year indicators for sealant program
  • Review/adapt Oregon model for data collection/tracking