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Why I Apply Fluoride Varnish in my Practice

As a family physician, I have the unique opportunity of caring for my patients from childhood through adulthood. This means I see firsthand the positive impact early oral health habits can have on a person’s life, from a healthier childhood smile, to a healthier adulthood. Over the years we have learned that oral health impact…

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Front Line Innovations – Racial Equity in Virginia

At the 2019 Virginia Oral Health Summit author Tamara Lucas Copeland spoke with Dr. Vanessa Walker Harris, who now serves as a Virginia Deputy Secretary of Health about the intersection of race and health. I encourage you to relisten to their conversation now through the lens of the COVID-19 crisis and the inequities it has…

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Front Line Innovations – Policy Changes to Improve Oral Health

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the face of oral health care. Virginia Health Catalyst is highlighting innovations in oral health through the Front Line Innovations blog series. This week’s blog from Pat Finnerty, Catalyst’s policy committee chair and a former director of the state’s Medicaid program looks at federal policy innovations to improve access to oral…

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Front Line Innovations – Minimally Invasive Dentistry

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way dentistry operates now and in the future. Virginia Health Catalyst is highlighting topics in oral health that focus on ways to provide care in a post-COVID-19 world through its Front Line Innovations blog series. The first blog in our series is from Dr. McAllister Castelaz, the dental director at…

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Understanding the Public Charge Ruling and its Impact on the Health of Virginians

Yesterday the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule took effect. The rule will affect approximately 10 million documented immigrants across the country, making it harder for immigrants to get a green card if they use public benefits like Medicaid or SNAP While there are legal challenges still moving forward regarding the rule, the Supreme Court in…

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Legislative Day Recap

Today on January 28th, 2020 Virginia Health Catalyst hosted our annual Legislative Action Day, where constituents meet with their legislators to talk about the importance of oral health and advocate for an adult dental benefit in Medicaid. Thank you to all who attended and to all of our partners who shared this important day with…

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DMAS Study Highlights Need for Dental Benefit

A study released today by the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) found a high usage of the emergency department (ED) for dental issues among Medicaid recipients. Currently, Virginia’s Medicaid program does not provide a comprehensive dental benefit for all enrollees. In 2018, nearly 16,000 Medicaid recipients visited the ED roughly 19,000 times for…

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