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.
Millions of Virginians are enrolled in health insurance through Medicare and Medicaid. Neither of the programs provides a comprehensive dental benefit for all enrollees. Virginia Health Catalyst and its partners recognize that Virginians cannot be healthy without a healthy mouth, and adding a comprehensive dental benefit to Medicaid and Medicare will ensure all Virginians are able to access the oral health services they need. Doing so will reduce costs while improving health outcomes.
Virginia Health Catalyst's top legislative priority is a comprehensive dental benefit for everyone enrolled in Medicaid in Virginia.
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.
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.
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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