Newsletter August 2020

August 2020 Summer Newsletter

Hello from the Idaho Oral Health Alliance. You are receiving this newsletter because you are either a current IOHA dues-paying member or you have identified as an oral health champion. We hope this finds you and your families and colleagues healthy and safely navigating this new era of oral health care. We hope the following opportunities and news will help:

Idaho News and Opportunities

2021-2026 Idaho Oral Health Improvement Plan

The IOHA, with support from the Idaho Oral Health Program, is leading a collaborative effort to write the 2021-2026 Idaho Oral Health Improvement Plan that will guide efforts to reduce the prevalence of oral disease in Idaho. Release of the final plan is expected in early 2021. The IOHA Board of Directors wishes to thank the 52 individuals and organizational representatives from both dental and non-dental areas who participated in the Work Group.

Healthy Me is Cavity-Free Committee

The Healthy Me is Cavity-Free initiative was revived to address caries issues for Idaho children ages 0-6. Eighteen oral health champion organizations are represented on the Steering Committee, and five sub-committees have been created that focus on: Pre-Dental Home; Caregiver and Early Education; Medicaid Dental Home; Provider Education, and Oral Health Messaging. For a recap of Healthy Me efforts undertaken between 2013 and 2017, visit Our thanks to all who have volunteered to serve.

Have you paid your IOHA 2020 Membership?

To be eligible to vote in annual board member elections, memberships must be current as of October 31, 2020. Not sure if you’re current? Contact us at and we’ll check for you. Need to pay? Visit to pay online or print the form and pay by check. Save the date of December 1, 2020, for the Annual Member Meeting. A gathering is planned at Telaya Wine Company, but the IOHA board will make a final decision about an in-person event by November.

Idaho Division of Public Health, Oral Health Program Brief was released in mid-August. The document outlines the role of the Idaho Oral Health Program within the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and is a succinct overview of the directives and funding sources for the program. The report also highlights key findings from the 2017 Idaho Smile Survey Report. More Idaho Oral Health Data can be found at

Close the Gap Idaho is encouraging individuals to reach out to Senators Risch and Crapo to encourage them to support key healthcare provisions to protect Medicaid and ensure Idahoans are not losing important access to health coverage. To read more about Close the Gap Idaho and this most recent advocacy request, visit

National News and Opportunities

Healthy People 2030 Objectives have been released. Healthy People national objectives are established every 10 years by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion under the Office of the Assistant Secretary for health within the Office of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To learn more about HP2030 and review the goals, visit Note: HP2030 goals were used to inform the 2021-2026 Idaho Oral Health Improvement Plan.

National Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data for 2019 has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data includes high school students who never saw a dentist and those who saw a dentist. To access the survey results and explore various categories, visit

Leveraging Teledentistry to Close Gaps in Oral Health: DentaQuest has created a website that provides an overview on how to bring patient-centered care into teledental visits. To explore the resources, visit

Oral Health Progress and Equity Network hosts Virtual Day of Action on Sept. 2, 2020. This national organization hopes to raise the profile of oral health in the context of the 2020 election and help candidates understand the need to address oral health in their commitments to health care. Resources can be found at The IOHA serves as the Idaho representative to the OPEN.

Jennifer Wheeler, Executive Director, Idaho Oral Health Alliance

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Our IOHA Mission: Lead collaborative efforts to bring optimal oral health to Idahoans through education, advocacy, and program development.