Policy

The policy goal of the WVOHC is to develop state and local policy which supports oral health prevention and a dental home for all West Virginians which aligns with the mission and goals of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Oral Health Advisory Board (WVDHHR-OHAB) and the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition (WVOHC).

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 members cross over as member of the State WVDHHR-OHAB to coordinate their mission, vision and goals especially with development and changes in policy.

Both, WVDHHR and the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) are agencies who are able to promulgate rules around the health and wellbeing of children. At this time the State Dental Director and WVDHHR leadership are also members of the WVBE-Wellness Committee to ensure coordination of policies, practices and partnerships.

The WVOHC can develop and promote the oral health policy through education of members, promotion of educational materials, outreach and technical assistance, effective communication with all partners, coordination of events and sharing of oral health data and surveillance information with the public to show how policies effect oral health and practices.

Ultimately, the WVOHC grows, ensuring the incorporation of the coalition director and/or president into the WVDHHR-OHAB and WVBE-Wellness Committee would assist with coordination, communication and equal understanding of state and local policies.

Challenges

  • Consistency in communicating and educating the public on new and revised oral health policy.
  • Potentially gaining consensus among the partners for new and revised policies.
  • Providing technical assistance and outreach at the state and local levels to inform students, parents, schools, providers and communities of the changes and assistance within their areas for oral health care.

Solutions (per 2016-2020 WV OH Plan 2.0_FINAL)

  • Develop communication plans with WVDHHR-OHAB, WVDE and other pertinent associations and oral health boards to ensure understanding, consensus and sharing of education materials for consistent messaging.
  • Recruitment of cross-sectional members on WVOHC and WVDHHR-HAB to ensure representation from key stakeholders.
  • Development and cross sharing of materials developed for specific targeted audiences to ensure consistency in messaging to target
  • Clarification of all the various roles of WVOHC members to strengthen collaboration, braiding of funding and prevent duplication in outreach.

Initiatives