Newsletter June 2020

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:

Your Feedback on Telehealth/Teledentistry is Needed by the State

The following request is issued by the State, but we, at the IOHA, urge you to complete this brief survey to make sure that teledentistry continues to be included in the conversation about how healthcare delivery is transformed in Idaho.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is conducting a survey to assess telehealth usage in healthcare delivery throughout the state of Idaho as part of the Telehealth Environmental Scan. We have engaged the services of Stonewall Analytics to conduct the survey and analyze results. We recognize that this is a very busy time for healthcare stakeholders and appreciate your consideration. The final day for submitting the survey is July 1 2020. It is anticipated that completing it will require approximately 5-15 minutes: If you have technical difficulties in completing the survey, please contact Chad Smith or Todd Leroux of Stonewall Analytics at

The survey results will be shared with the State’s Telehealth Task Force for the creation of a report with recommendations and best practices for telehealth in Idaho. That final report will be posted in the Fall of 2020 to the Healthcare Transformation Council of Idaho website and shared with all survey participants via email. We truly appreciate your perspective and hope you will complete the survey!

Providers Agree: It’s a New Era of Dental Care

The DentaQuest Partnership’s recent provider survey found widespread agreement that factors such as infection control, financial sustainability and teledentistry will change how they practice. The feedback is clear—oral health care is never returning to the way it was before COVID-19. Explore survey results.

New American Academy of Pediatrics/ National Indian Health Board Native American/ Alaska Native Oral Health Resources

The American Academy of Pediatrics Campaign for Dental Health and the National Indian Health Board Tribal Oral Health Initiative are excited to share four tip sheets for Native American (NA) and Alaska Native (AN) babies, kids, adults, and elders. Each offers age-appropriate guidance for a variety of ways to keep teeth and mouths healthy. Access them on the Campaign’s Share page. At every age, NA/AN people experience more dental disease than any other segment of the general population. As oral health advocates and stakeholders, we all play a critical role in preventing unnecessary disease and promoting the oral health of communities, families, and individuals, especially those most affected. We invite you to use and share these resources and thank you.

Reimagining Dental Public Health Through Resiliency and Community

The American Institute of Dental Public Health has announced early bird registration for its virtual colloquium to be held August 4 & 5, 2020. For conference information and a link to the early registration (ends July 17), visit GET TICKETS FOR THE COLLOQUIUM NOW

2021-2026 Idaho Oral Health Action Plan

The IOHA, with support from the Idaho Oral Health Program, is leading a collaborative effort to write the 2021-2026 Idaho Oral Health Action Plan that will guide efforts to reduce the prevalence of oral disease in Idaho. The collaborative Work Group includes 51 individuals and organizational representatives from both dental and non-dental areas. The draft will be delivered to the Idaho Oral Health Program by the end of August, 2020.

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.

IOHA Referral Network Makes Progress

As dental offices begin to reopen, the IOHA its efforts to test and expand the IOHA Referral Network. This growing effort is creating a statewide bi-directional, closed-loop referral system to be utilized by medical providers seeking care for patients with oral health issues and for dental providers who have patients in need of medical homes. Feedback and data have been encouraging, so the IOHA will soon start a Pilot Phase and will expand the number of providers and the geographic reach to test capacity for the eventual statewide roll-out.

IOHA Representatives Tapped for National OPEN

In 2019, the DentaQuest Foundation OPEN 2020 Oral Health Network transitioned its support to a stand-alone national nonprofit called the OPEN (Oral Health Progress and Equity Network). The OPEN is a national network of oral health champions who work together to support transformation in the delivery of oral care with a focus on equity. Jennifer Wheeler, executive director of the IOHA, has been selected as the Idaho representative, and Samantha Kenney, RDH-EA, IOHA board chair, and community health coordinator for the United Way of the Treasure Valley, has been selected as the grass roots representative for the state.

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.