Oral Health America: Changing the Way School-Based Oral Health Services are Delivered

Posted on November 10, 2016

CHICAGO, November 10 – Oral Health America (OHA) is pleased to announce that they have selected three Smiles Across America® (SAA) Program Partners to participate in an innovative endeavor that changes the way school-based oral health services are planned and delivered in their communities. Thanks in part to a $60,000 grant from Crest + Oral-B, OHA kicked off the project with a two-day event at the Oyler School’s Robert & Adele Schiff Early Learning Center in Cincinnati from October 31 to November 1, 2016. This marks Procter & Gamble’s continued support for the project launched at OHA’s 2015 Share and Learn Conference, co-hosted with Crest + Oral-B.

Human Centered Design (HCD), a concept that grew up among corporations seeking to place the customer at the center of the product or service design process, has been gaining keen interest in the non-profit community over the past two years. According to Beth Truett, OHA's President and CEO, “Oral Health America believes this is the first project among oral health non-profit organizations to apply Human Centered Design, which approaches decision-making about changes in school-based oral health services with the children and the community at the center of the process.”

Programs selected for the HCD project span the scope of OHA’s 304 Smiles Across America program partners, representing diverse rural, small town and urban communities in which 50% or more children received free or reduced lunches in the schools. The programs offer services via clinics, portable and mobile equipment and focus on communities in which poverty, language differences and transportation are factors of significant impact. Participating programs include: Santa Barbara-Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation (CA), Children’s Dental Services (MN) and Comprehensive Community Action, Inc./Ronald McDonald Care Mobile (RI).

“Crest + Oral-B are proud to support OHA’s Human Centered Design model as part of its ongoing Share and Learn Conference” said Dr. Robert Lee, Procter & Gamble Professional & Scientific Relations manager for North America. “We share OHA’s vision and commitment in improving school-based oral health services to improve the lives of children and the communities they live in.”

Oral Health America, together with James Grant Design, a firm focused on assisting non-profit organizations to apply the HCD concept, will work with the programs, their boards and community stakeholders throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Each participating program will present a progress report at OHA’s 2017 Share & Learn Partner Conference, with the intent of helping other SAA partners better understand the process of Human Centered Design, how it can assist with identifying the issues faced by communities, and what the opportunities are for improving oral health services provided in school-based and school-linked settings.

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