Oral Health Funders Collaborative
A vision for outstanding oral health for all.
The Oral Health Funders Collaborative is a partnership of 10 regional grantmakers who are coordinating their efforts to identify, advocate and invest in oral health solutions. OCF's role in this effort reflects our deep commitment to improving Oregonians’ health, productivity and quality of life.
Dental disease is one of Oregon’s most pressing public health problems. As a study by the Oregon Department of Human Services notes, “the majority of Oregonians — poor or rich, female or male, old or young, whatever their race or ethnicity — suffer from oral disease.” The causes of this silent epidemic include inadequate education and prevention, lack of supplies, and a shortage of providers serving low-income people.
Left untreated, this preventable disease can be devastating to lifelong health, educational success, productivity and self-image. It’s also been linked with serious illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
To address this statewide health crisis the Oral Health Funders Collaborative was formally established in September 2011. Its goals include:
- Raising awareness of oral disease among funders and community leaders in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
- Increasing knowledge of best practices to prevent oral disease for all ages.
- Investing in data collection and analysis to quantify the true social and economic cost of oral disease in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The Collaborative meets quarterly and is represented by the following members:
- Teri Barichello, DMD, vice president, chief dental officer, Moda Health
- Keavy Cook, director, children, youth & families, The Ford Family Foundation
- Katherine Cereghino, community oral health consultant, Kaiser Permanente
- Alyssa Franzen, DMD, dental director, CareOregon
- Melissa D. Freeman, director of strategic projects, OCF
- Robin Hill-Dunbar, senior program officer, The Ford Family Foundation
- Jennifer Lewis-Goff, director of government affairs, Oregon Dental Association
- JoAnn Miller, director of community health promotion, Samaritan Health Services
- Kathy O’Meara-Wyman, managing director, Access to Baby and Child Dentistry Program, Arcora Foundation
- Dayna Steringer, contract compliance and government affairs coordinator, Willamette Dental Group
- Barry Taylor, DMD, executive director, Oregon Dental Association
- The Strategic Plan for Oral Health in Oregon: 2014-2020 reflects the consensus of nearly 200 oral health advocates who understand that oral health is inseparable from overall health at every stage of life; it highlights strategies that will deliver better care, better health and lower costs for Oregonians of all ages and backgrounds. A progress report was released in 2016.
- Emergency Department Visits for Nontraumatic Dental Problems in Oregon State. In February 2013, the Collaborative commissioned a study on the utilization of hospital emergency departments for dental pain. Researchers found dental pain to be the second most common ED discharge diagnosis in adults (ages 20-39 years).