In most states, Medicaid programs and public health departments share responsibility for addressing the oral health needs of low-income residents, yet these agency often operate in silos. To achieve broad and optimal improvements in oral health, Medicaid dental program directors and state oral health program directors need to work together.

The following case studies are a product of the State Oral Health Leadership Institute (SOHLI), an initiative of the DentaQuest Foundation directed by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) that brings together Medicaid dental program directors and state oral health program directors to advance shared goals for their programs. SOHLI is a professional development program that instills participating state pairs with leadership and policy knowledge with a strong focus on cross-departmental collaboration.

Improving Fluoride Varnish Utilization through WIC Partnerships in Missouri – Explores how John Dane, DDS, and Timothy Kling, MD, FACS partnered with Women, Infants, and Children programs across Missouri to promote the application of fluoride varnish in non-dental settings to increase the use of this service by low-income children. (December 2018)

Driving Improved Teen Dental Utilization through Quality Improvement Strategies in Rhode Island – Looks at how Samuel Zwetchkenbaum, DDS, MPH, and Sadie DeCourcy worked collaboratively with UnitedHealthcare’s RIte Smiles managed care plan to increase preventive dental visits among low-income teens in Rhode Island. (December 2018)