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OUR HISTORY

Since our work began in 2010 Virginia Health Catalyst's expertise has been oral health - from advocating for pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid to have comprehensive dental coverage, to spurring the inclusion of oral health services, education, and referrals into home visiting programs.

 

In 2002 Virginia ranked close to last nationally in the number of Medicaid-enrolled children who saw a dentist. In response, the Virginia Dental Association, the Virginia Department of Health and the Department of Medical Assistance Services partnered with nonprofit organizations to create an all-volunteer committee, Virginians for Increased Access to Dental Care (VIADC), to invest in children's health and work collectively to improve access to oral health services for Virginians. VIADC successfully increased the Medicaid reimbursement rate, added new members, and updated the Virginia Oral Health Plan. Virginia Health Catalyst was formed with the charge to drive the Virginia Oral Health Plan and carry on VIADC's vision, expanding access to oral health care for all Virginians.

Our Mission

Ensuring Virginians have equitable access to comprehensive health care that includes oral health by:

  • Championing supportive federal, state, and local policies through our advocacy work
  • Facilitating community-based initiatives to address known barriers to oral health access through our regional alliances
  • Building a health system that includes oral health as an integral part of comprehensive health through our oral health integration efforts
  • Fostering a community that understands health care is an equity issue and seeks to learn from others through learning events and our annual Summit

What We Do

Virginia Health Catalyst is a statewide coalition with over 900 strong, diverse partnerships. We work with health stakeholders including, community members, medical and dental providers, community health workers, home visitors, and health advocates, to provide the resources, training events, and tools needed to integrate oral health into all aspects of care. 

 

Our programs like the regional oral health alliances, integration learning collaboratives, and the community water fluoridation rapid response team bring a strong focus to public health issues that impact individuals' health.

The Virginia Oral Health Plan

 

The Virginia Oral Health Plan is a set of goals and principles, developed in 2010 and updated in 2016 through conversations with over 40 stakeholders across the Commonwealth, to guide our work. The graphic to the right details the Plan's five main goals. Download the full plan here.

Learn more about Virginia Health Catalyst's strategic vision, which was created to enable Catalyst to achieve its mission of equitable access to comprehensive health care for all Virginians here.

Public Awareness

Work with policymakers to identify oral health gaps, understand the state of oral health in the Commonwealth, and create campaigns that encourage healthy behavior change. 

Prevention, Early Diagnosis and Treatment

Support programs that encourage prevention: community water fluoridation, dental homes for children by age one, and increase sealant programs in schools.

Medical and Dental Collaboration

Increase integration between medical and dental professionals by raising awareness of the link between oral health and overall health.

Insurance and Reimbursement

Advocate for a comprehensive dental benefit for all adults in Medicaid, while exploring coverage models for Virginians not eligible for Medicaid.

Workforce

Develop a dental workforce that is incentivized to practice in underserved areas and work with dental educators to ensure students are exposed to a variety of environments, patients, and procedures.