Hamilton, NJ, February 1, 2017 – The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today announced that five cross-agency teams — from Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. — have been chosen to participate in the first class of the State Oral Health Leadership Institute (SOHLI). The institute, made possible through the DentaQuest Foundation, offers a unique opportunity for state Medicaid dental program directors and state oral health program directors to collaborate in pursuit of shared goals.

“Collaboration between Medicaid dental and state oral health directors can be the ‘missing link’ to achieving broad improvements in oral health policy and delivery, “ said Stacey Chazin, director of Prevention Programs at CHCS. “By cultivating cross-agency partnerships, SOHLI creates a space where these individuals can work together to transform the delivery of oral health services for low-income populations.”

State teams competitively selected to participate as SOHLI Fellows include:


State Dental Director, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Timothy Kling, MD, FACOG
Associate Medical Director, Missouri Department of Social Services

North Carolina

Mark W. Casey, DDS, MPH
Dental Director, Department of Health and Human Services
Sarah Tomlinson, DDS
Dental Director and Chief, Department of Health and Human Services

North Dakota

Jodi Hulm
Administrator, Health Tracks and Healthy Steps, Department of Human Services
Kimberlie Yineman
Oral Health Program Director, Department of Health


Bruce W. Austin, DMD
Statewide Dental Director, Oregon Health Authority
Kellie M. Skenandore
Dental Program Manager, Operations and Policy Analyst-Medicaid Managed Care, Oregon Health Authority

Washington, D.C.

Pierre M. Cartier, DMD, MPH
Program Manager, DC Dept. of Health, Oral Health Program (Jan.–Jun. 2017)

Lauren Ratner, MPH, MSW
Health Care Access Bureau Chief, Community Health Administration, DC Dept. of Health (Jul.–Dec. 2017)
Antonio Lacey, DDS
Program Analyst, District of Columbia Department of Health Care Finance

The 12-month leadership program will provide these teams with the necessary leadership skills and policy knowledge to improve oral health access and outcomes, especially for low-income children and adults. With guidance from CHCS staff, teams will also develop a joint transformation project focused on a specific oral health goal. A national advisory group — that includes leadership from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors — will provide additional guidance.

SOHLI builds on the leadership training efforts established by CHCS’ Medicaid Leadership Institute. For the past eight years, the Medicaid Leadership Institute has trained numerous state staff, including 30 Medicaid directors — in 27 states and the District of Columbia — serving more than 50 million Medicaid beneficiaries.