Expanding Access through Dentistry

Oral Health & Dental Science

Study Details How Dental-Medical Collaborative Program at Health Center Improved HPV Vaccination Rates of Young Patients

A new study describes a first-of-its-kind program designed to increase the rates of HPV vaccination among young patients in a Federally Qualified Health Center. While the project goal was to increase immunization rate 10%, this dental-medical collaborative program exceeded its original goal, improving the Centers’ immunization rate from 12% at project start to 31.08%.

The project was implemented in the Zufall Community Health Centers in New Jersey with an original cohort of 900 male and female patients ages 9-18.  Eight Community Dental Health Coordinators (CDHCs), using the PDSA improvement model, led the effort to promote vaccination. In addition, a new, integrated dental/medical implementation plan included partnering with Patient-centered Medical Home Care Coordinators (PCMHs) for patient follow up.

Authors Sam Wakim, DMD, MPH, and Rina Ramirez, MD, both of the Zufall Health Center, wrote, “We found that starting the HPV vaccination and oral cancer prevention conversation in the dental home by CDHCs, the trusted facilitators of the project, was highly effective. Most importantly, this project can be replicated in other community health centers and healthcare systems.”

Dental Interventions Improve Youth HPV Vaccination Rates to Help Prevent Oral Cancer was published in Oral Health & Dental Science, a peer-reviewed, open access journal publish articles authored by experts in their respective fields regarding oral health and dental management from basic research to implementation of this research in clinical practice

 About the Santa Fe Group

The Santa Fe Group is a 501(c) (3), action-oriented think tank with a passion to improve lives through oral health. Since its inception 25 years ago, the Santa Fe Group has been instrumental as a neutral convener, communicator, connector and catalyst to move the needle on critical issues such as oral cancer, dental education reform, children’s oral health, improved primary care access, the importance of linking medical and dental health systems, and most recently, expanding oral healthcare for our nation’s seniors. To learn more, please visit: http://dev.santafegroup.org/ & @SantaFeGroupOrg.

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