Newsletter – December 2022

You are receiving this message because you are either an IOHA member or have indicated that you are an oral health champion. If you no longer wish to receive any correspondence from the Idaho Oral Health Alliance, please respond to this email and ask to be removed from our list.

Heartfelt Thanks to Retiring Board Members

It is with deep gratitude that the IOHA Board of Directors thanks retiring board members, Carolyn Brammer, RDH-EA; Jack Lincks, DDS, MS; Sarah Ridinger, MHA, and Jessica Oliver. Carolyn and Jack have been on the board for a long time and helped the IOHA transition from a volunteer-led group to hiring the first ever staff person in 2014. Sarah Ridinger joined the IOHA board in 2020 when she worked for the Idaho Community Health Center Association (ICHCA) (formerly the Idaho Primary Care Association) and Jessica Oliver is leaving her position as the executive director of the Idaho State Dental Association in mid-December. Please join us in thanking these dedicated volunteers.

Welcome to New Board Members

During the December 6, 2022, Annual Member Celebration, the IOHA board welcomed new directors including Kaylin Faranda, program coordinator with the ICHCA; Kaci Jensen, DDS; Kelly Reich, RDH; and Annie Sundstrom, RDH, MSDH. Board members elected to new terms were: Troy Clovis, DMD; Samantha Kenney, RDH; Mike Roddy, MBA, Andrea Timmerman, MBA, and Norm Varin. We congratulate and welcome these great volunteers. 

Additional Thanks

The IOHA wishes to thank Dr. Omair Shamim for serving as an oral health champion during his tenure as the Head Start Collaboration Director for the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, Division of Family & Community Services. Dr. Shamim promises to continue to support oral health in his new national position as Senior Project Analyst at the Office of Head Start. Congratulations, Dr. Shamim!

We hope you find the following resources helpful:

Idaho Resources

Diabetes Alliance of Idaho Co-Branded Oral Health Flyer

The IOHA and the Diabetes Alliance of Idaho (DAI) are pleased to unveil a new co-branded flyer that addresses the importance of oral healthcare for patients with diabetes. The downloadable flyer can be found on the IOHA website under Community/Resources, Patient Resources. The DAI and the IOHA continue to find new ways to share joint messaging on the importance of oral health and its impact on diabetes. Click here for more about the DAI.

Dr. Kim Keller Featured in Idaho Education News Article

Staffing shortages still plague the dental world, but this November article from Idaho Education News shares some of the workforce efforts in the Treasure Valley focusing on recruitment to dental assistant programs in regional technical high schools. Dr. Kim Keller, president of the Idaho State Dental Association, is featured for his collaborative efforts with the Nampa program. The Idaho Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) are also working to encourage students to consider medical and dental professions. Click here for more information 

IOHA Provider Seminars: Putting the Mouth Back in the Body

The IOHA, in partnership with SW AHEC will present the fourth in a series of eight seminars on January 18, 2023. The session, Mouths of Moms to the Mouths of Babes: The Importance of Maternal, Infant, and Child Oral Health will be presented by M. Colleen Stephenson, RDH-ER, MS, faculty member with the Idaho State University Dental Hygiene Program. The session is presented as part of the series titled: Putting the Mouth Back in the Body: How Oral Health Affects Whole Patient Care. Our thanks to series sponsor Delta Dental of Idaho. Watch your email in early January for the registration link. The remaining seminars happen every other month. Registration for the March 7, 2023, seminar, Fluoride: Why You Should Discuss the “F” Word with Your Patients, will be live in February.

Healthy Me is Cavity-Free Childcare Provider Trainings in January and February

The IOHA, in partnership with Delta Dental of Idaho, Idaho Public Health Districts, Idaho Office of Head Start Collaboration, Idaho Division of Maternal and Child Health, and IdahoSTARS, is offering free training for childcare providers in five cities in November through February. Childcare providers, including Head Start teachers, Parents-As-Teachers, and Nurse Family Partnership providers are invited to these in-person workshops. The four-hour training is based on the Cavity Free Kids curriculum of the ARCORA Foundation. Licensed Idaho dental hygienists will present the material and demonstrate interactive activities to be used with children. Tips for pregnant women will be included, too. Cavity Free Kids is designed for use in early childhood education settings and home visiting programs. Remaining cities include Lewiston (Jan. 6), Coeur d’Alene (Jan. 7), Twin Falls (Jan. 21), and Pocatello (Feb. 11). Preregistration is required, so attendees should pick the closest workshop and register at 

Idaho Oral Health Improvement Plan Activity Report Form is LIVE

The 2021-2026 Idaho Oral Health Improvement Plan is a roadmap for the strategic vision for the improvement of oral health for all who live within the borders of Idaho. The IOHA needs you to submit reports of the activities that you, your teams, and your communities undertake to help make progress on the State Plan goals. Use the following link to submit a report every time you do something throughout the year. We want to hear from you! Reports are due by December 30 in order to be included in the 2022 report. 

Delta Dental of Idaho Opportunities

GrinWell for You: This program offers a free one-year dental benefit of $1850 for income qualifying Idaho adults 60+. Enrollees can access dental care from any provider in the Delta Dental of Idaho PPO network across the state. Recipients cannot have other insurance, e.g., Medicaid or Medicare Advantage with dental, unless the Medicare Advantage Plan has embedded preventive only dental coverage. Upon completion of the first year, individuals can enroll in a subsidized preventive plan for two years called GrinWell Protect. Delta does not require a social security number and has applications in Spanish and English. Visit here for the application form.

Rethink Your Drink – Bottle Filling Station Grant Program. Do you know of an Idaho school that could use a bottle filling station? Eligible schools can apply to receive a Delta Dental of Idaho-branded Elkay water bottle filling station to update or replace an outdated drinking water fountain. Contact Delta Dental of Idaho’s Community Outreach Manager, Shaina Cales, at to be notified when the 2023 grant application opens in February.

National Resources

ADA Presents Webinar on Prevention & Sports Dentistry

Free Webinar: Scoring the Goal – Sports Dentistry, Injury Prevention, and the Doctor/Patient Perspective: Tuesday, December 13 | 7PM CT | 1 CE Credit Pending

Presented by the American Dental Association’s Council on Advocacy for Access & Prevention (ADA CAAP) and the Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD)

This webinar features a professional (MLS) soccer player and three sports dentists who will discuss injury prevention during sports, health equity and access to care, and the importance of the provider and patient voices. Attendees will learn how to get involved with injury prevention efforts, promote access to preventive and dental care, foster collaboration, and apply prevention strategies to promote health equity. Discussion will include the provider and patient perspectives on the importance of oral health and injury prevention. REGISTER HERE

Opportunity to Review National 2025 Child and Adult Core Sets

Each year, the Child and Adult Core Sets for the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Quality Measurement Program undergo a review. The Core Sets are key indicators of the quality of health care that Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries receive. This year’s review focuses on updates to the 2025 Child and Adult Core Sets. For more information, please see the CMCS Information Bulletin, available at: On December 14th, 2022, 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET, Mathematica will convene the first of three meetings of the 2025 Child and Adult Core Set Annual Review Workgroup. Meetings are open to the public and anyone with an interest in Medicaid and CHIP health care quality measurement is invited to attend. Click here for registration for all meetings. More information including meeting descriptions and the 2025 Child and Adult Core Set Annual Review Workgroup roster at website,. 

Oral Health in America: Pain, Mental Health, Substance Use, and Oral Health

Substance use disorders that occur alongside mental illnesses are much more common than previously assumed, and there is extensive evidence of a strong correlation between psychiatric disorders and poor oral health. Section 5 editor Dr. Christian S. Stohler, Columbia University, discusses the impact mental health, pain, and substance use disorders have on the nation’s oral health and the efforts to meet these challenges. Read the Section Summary: Pain, Mental Illness, Substance Use, and Oral Health and Read Q&A. Save the date of May 17, 2023, for the IOHA Provider Webinar, Mouths Matter: The Inextricable Link Between Oral, Mental, and Physical Health, that will address this topic.

We hope you will continue your support of the IOHA by joining us as a member. Annual memberships start every January, but you can join at any time. For more information or to pay your dues, visit 

We offer our sincere thanks to our annual corporate sponsors: Delta Dental of Idaho, Eide Bailly, Managed Care North America, and the Idaho Oral Health Program.

Thank you for all you do to support the oral health needs of all who live within the borders of Idaho.