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.
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. The Virginia Oral Health Coalition works around the state with local governments to protect and ensure water systems remain fluoridated.
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.
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.
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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