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Hilltop Hosts Symposium on Oral Health Policy

The Hilltop Institute is pleased to announce the success of its fifth symposium, Developing Comprehensive Oral Health Policy: Challenges and Opportunities for State Health Policy Makers, convened on June 17, 2008.

The symposium brought together over 130 policy makers, health services researchers, and health care practitioners, including the nation's leading oral health policy experts, from across the country to explore three major areas of policy innovation to improve access to and utilization of oral health care: integration of dental and medical service delivery; dental workforce issues; and health education and outreach strategies. The day was divided into four sessions and highlighted by a keynote address, a luncheon address, and concluding reflections.

The keynote addressed the integration of oral health and "total" health. While there is a growing recognition of the importance of integrating oral health with total health, there is currently no roadmap for this integration. Burton Edelstein, D.D.S., M.P.H., professor of Clinical Dentistry at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, framed the day with a provocative assessment of this issue and challenged the underlying conceptions of dentistry.

The luncheon address reflected on the evolution of pediatric health policy over the past 32 years and its implications for dental access and quality. Sara Rosenbaum, J.D., Hirsh professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy at the George Washington University Medical Center, provided a passionate overview of her experiences with Medicaid and children's oral health policy throughout the history of her career.

In the final session of the day, Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., dean of the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health, reflected on the day's proceedings and offered thoughts and inspiration on policy directions that hold promise.

To view the agenda, presentations, and proceedings, click here.

The Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) is a nationally recognized research center dedicated to improving the health and social outcomes of vulnerable populations. Hilltop conducts research, analysis, and evaluations on behalf of government agencies, foundations, and other non-profit organizations at the national, state, and local levels.
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