Hamilton, NJ, October 11, 2017 – The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) today announced that four cross-agency teams — from Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, and Rhode Island — were chosen to participate in the second cohort of the State Oral Health Leadership Institute (SOHLI), which launched earlier this month. The institute, made possible by the DentaQuest Foundation, offers a unique opportunity for state Medicaid dental program directors and state oral health program directors to collaborate and develop key leadership competencies in pursuit of shared goals. The first SOHLI cohort will conclude in December 2017.

“Collaboration between Medicaid dental and state oral health directors is pivotal to achieving broad improvements in oral health policy and delivery,” said Stacey Chazin, director of Prevention Programs at CHCS. “By cultivating cross-agency partnerships and the leadership skills needed to navigate change in complex state systems, the State Oral Health Leadership Institute is helping to transform oral health care systems for underserved, low-income populations.”

State pairs competitively selected to participate in the second SOHLI cohort are:


Brandon Bueche, Medicaid Dental Program Director, Louisiana Department of HealthMeChaune Butler, Oral Health Program Manager, Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health


Linda Maytan, DDS, Dental Policy Director, Minnesota Department of Human ServicesPrasida Khanal, State Oral Health Director, Minnesota Department of Health


Antonina Capurro, DMD, Nevada State Dental Health Officer, Nevada Department of Health and Human ServicesJack Zenteno, Chief, Children's Services, Nevada Division of Health Care Financing and Policy

Rhode Island

Samuel Zwetchkenbaum, DDS, Dental Director, Rhode Island Department of Health, and Executive Office of Health and Human ServicesSadie DeCourcy, Program Manager, Oral Health Program, Rhode Island Department of Health

The 10-month leadership program will provide these state partners with the leadership skills and policy knowledge to improve oral health access and outcomes, especially for low-income children and adults. With guidance from CHCS staff, pairs will 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. Since 2009, 42 Medicaid directors and numerous state staff from 33 states and the District of Columbia have participated in the Medicaid Leadership Institute.

About the Center for Health Care Strategies
The Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) is a nonprofit policy center dedicated to improving the health of low-income Americans, especially for individuals with complex, high-cost needs. CHCS works with state and federal agencies, health plans, providers, and consumer groups to advance innovative and cost-effective models for organizing, financing, and delivering health care services. For more information, visit www.chcs.org.

About the DentaQuest Foundation
The DentaQuest Foundation is the leading U.S. philanthropy focused solely on oral health. The Foundation is supporting the development of the Oral Health 2020 network, a group of partners committed to working collectively at the national, state and community levels to eradicate dental disease in children and improve lifelong oral health. The DentaQuest Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DentaQuest. To learn more, visit dentaquestfoundation.org.