FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 5, 2013 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced it is one of 21 states awarded a “State Oral Disease Prevention Programs” grant from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Connecticut will receive $1.5 million over five years.
“This grant program will assist us in improving the oral health of Connecticut residents, in particular those children and adults who are most at risk for oral diseases such as tooth decay,” said DPH Dental Director Linda Ferraro. “With this grant award, Connecticut will enhance oral health surveillance, expand preventive dental services and work to increase the awareness that you can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mouth.”
Three states—Hawaii, Idaho, and New Hampshire—have been awarded grants averaging $230,000 under the program’s entry-level component, “Basic Capacity for Collective Impact.” An additional 18 states that have more advanced oral health programs have received grants averaging $310,000 under “Implementation of Evidence-based Community Preventive Interventions and Access to Clinical Preventive Services.” These states are Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The grants are renewable for up to five years.
“With CDC support, the states receiving these awards will be better able to monitor their population’s oral health, identify priorities and target efforts, and expand activities aimed at preventing oral diseases among individuals, families, and communities,” stated Dr. William Bailey, DDS, MPH, Acting Director, CDC Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
For all states, the funding is designed to improve basic state oral health services, including support for program leadership and additional staff, monitoring oral disease levels and risk factors for oral disease, developing strong partnerships, educating state residents on ways to prevent oral diseases, and developing and evaluating prevention programs. States with more advanced programs also may work to increase delivery of dental sealants for children in low-income and/or rural schools; increase the proportion of the population with access to fluoridated water; increase the percentage of state residents who use the oral health care system; and increase the percentage of low-income children and adolescents who receive a preventive dental service.
The CDC oral health program seeks to improve the oral health of communities by extending the use of proven strategies to prevent oral diseases, enhancing monitoring of oral diseases, strengthening the nation’s oral health capacity, and guiding infection control in dentistry. For more information on oral health, visit the CDC web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.