To advance our policy pillar together with our partners, we champion local, state, and federal policies that support equitable access to comprehensive health care that includes oral health.
2019 Legislative Priorities
Virginia Medicaid provides medical and behavioral health care for over 1 million Virginians - yet, only children and pregnant women have access to coverage that includes comprehensive dental care. As a result, adults do not have access to services that prevent infection, promote health, and relieve pain and infection.
Virginia Health Catalyst's top legislative priority is a comprehensive dental benefit for everyone enrolled in Medicaid in Virginia.
- Adult Dental Benefit Advocacy Postcards
- Adult Dental Benefit Fact Sheet
- Adult Dental Benefit Fact Sheet - Older Adults and Virginians with Disabilities
Please contact Lauren Sawyer for additional advocacy materials to help your organization advocate for an adult dental benefit in Medicaid.
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is the cheapest and most effective way to prevent cavities. Research proves that fluoridated water decreases cavities by at least 25% in people of all ages. In Virginia, 96% of our population is served by fluoridated water systems; one of the highest percentages in the country.
Virginia Health Catalyst advocates at the state and local level to ensure that Virginia's water systems remain fluoridated and works with community partners to ensure Virginians feel confident in the safety of their water.
Medicare provides health care coverage for over 1 million Virginia seniors; however, despite the importance of good oral health to manage chronic disease, reduce infections, and contribute to healthy eating, Medicare does not cover any dental services. Virginia Health Catalyst works with several national partners advocating for change.
Many federal regulations, orders, and legislation impact a Virginian's ability to access care, whether its a policy that limits the use of health care services or initiatives that inform state funding for health-related activities. Working with national partners, Virginia Health Catalyst advocates on a wide range of federal policies that would impact Virginians.
Virginia Health Catalyst's policy committee helps to shape our advocacy efforts by providing recommendations to our board of directors about specific legislation and policy positions that support Catalyst's Vision. These five principles are based on the Virginia Oral Health Plan which was developed through consensus with multiple partners from across the state. Committee recommendations may address whether Virginia Health Catalyst should support, oppose, or remain neutral on pieces of legislation, or recommend if Virginia Health Catalyst should champion a specific policy initiative.
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Trish Bonwell, RDS, BSDH, MSH, PhD*
Tegwyn Brickhouse, DDS, PhD*
Stacy Campbell, MBA*
Donovan Caves, DDS
Denise Claiborne, PhD, RDH*
Cheryl Harris Sutton
Robert Klink, MD, MMM, FACOG*
Carole Pratt, DDS*
Anubhuti Shukla, DDS
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