The West Virginia Oral Health Coalition (WVOHC) was established in June of 2010, and since that time has experienced marked growth and early success. The WVOHC advocates for everyone’s oral health, particularly those who are unable to access basic dental care and preventive.
Policy statements will be congruent with the WVOHC mission and will be designed to build capacity within the state to engage broad-based stakeholders, build common ground on needed improvements in oral health and implement systems change.
The WVOHC can develop and adopt a variety of policy documents including issue briefs, position papers, policy statements and resolutions to reflect the Coalitions priorities and stance on dental public health issues.
Ultimately, as the WVOHC grows, a policy committee can be formed and function to oversee the creation of policy statements on various issues for submission to the membership for approval.
A policy committee logic model, policy statement development protocol, Policy Statement Template, Policy Statement Review Form, and Guidelines for the Development of State Oral Health Issue Briefs can be developed utilizing examples from the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD).
Policy statements produced by WVOHC membership are a means to:
- Educate WV decision makers on evidence-based preventive services and research.
- Promote funding strategies that will increase the oral health workforce capacity and effectiveness.
- Promote the importance and funding of oral health infrastructure.
- Potentially gaining consensus among the partners.
- Connect the mouth to the body, and elevate oral health as a public health issue to address.
- Make the connection of poor oral health to overall health and chronic disease.
- Crafting policy statements in a timely manner e.g. before the convening of the legislative session.
- Developing a collection system in which to obtain input from coalition memberships on policy issues.
- Use Data to Build a State and Nationwide Dialogue about Oral Health. U.S. National Oral Health Alliance. Engage people across the country to focus on their own oral health and that of their families, communities, and wider constituencies. Develop a national definition of “good oral health.” Support that definition with meaningful oral health metrics and benchmarks that help individuals discuss oral health and its improvement. Use standard language and data to enable diverse parties to talk about oral health progress in compelling ways. “Talk out loud” about oral health.
- Provide Information That Helps People Take Action. U.S. National Oral Health Alliance. Proven health metrics can be most effective when connected to a story that resonates with many. Ensure that data is clear and practical so that people across the country can understand it with little explanation. Engage the media at all levels to provide needed assistance and value through their work in educating the public about oral health, while also involving oral health and medical leaders, educators and schools, community leaders, and everyday people in media outreach.
- Develop a unifying culture and messaging about health: Emphasize a culture of collaboration with unified messages among nontraditional partners who value prevention while empowering caregivers. Create one public, simple message about universal prevention.