Improving Children's Oral Health through School-Based Oral Health Programs 

Request for Proposals

With support from the Virginia Dept. of Health and the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation, Virginia Health Catalyst will coordinate a learning program for up to two dental safety-net clinics to expand or create a school-based oral health program. This project aims to improve the oral health of children in Virginia by bringing dental care into the school setting through education, support, and partnerships with local school nursing staff.

This program is generously supported by the Virginia Department of Health through a CDC Oral Health Infrastructure grant. VDH funding may not cover direct care or legislative activities.

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    About the Project

    Project Overview

    In collaboration with the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation, the Virginia Department of Health, and Department of Education, Virginia Health Catalyst will facilitate a collaborative learning opportunity with dental safety net clinics through education, support, technical assistance, and school partnerships in order to start new school-based oral health programs (SBOHP). Participating dental safety net clinic staff will attend monthly, 60-minute virtual learning sessions, covering:

    • Best practices in school-based oral health care
    • Quality improvement strategies and tools
    • Data collection, tracking, and outcomes measures
    • Implementation guidance (consent forms/caregiver engagement, services, equipment and space, scheduling/logistics, care coordination)
    • Communication and coordination among school and clinic teams and follow-through

    Each clinic will be paired with a local school and school nurse to help with SBOHP implementation; school nurse partners will join in the latter part of the project.

    All participants will have access to a private space on the Catalyst website for tools, resources, and a material list with all necessary items for successful execution. Continuing education credits will be provided for participating school nurses and dental professionals.

    Anticipated outcomes of the project include:

    • Replicable strategy for clinics and schools to implement SBOHPs
    • New, sustainable SBOHPs that operate with strong collaboration between dental clinics and school nurses
    • Enhanced partnership among school nurses, and dental safety net clinics
    • An increase of 1,000 children that receive oral care in the school year
    Project Commitments & Timeline

    Participating dental clinics agree to:

    • Attend every monthly meeting (at least one clinic staff representative)
    • Implement a new school-based oral health care program within 12 months
    • Collect and provide data monthly to Catalyst
    • Provide preventive and restorative dental care, including dental sealants
    • Work towards achieving specific measurable goals
    • Spend funds appropriately before August 15, 2022
    • Communicate regularly with Catalyst staff including phone calls, e-mails, and meetings

    February 2022

    Project begins, kick-off meeting

    March-July 2022

    Monthly 60-minute meetings

    August 2022

    SBOHP implementation presentation

    September-November 2022

    Monthly 60-minute office hours

    December 2022

    Clinic and school nurse final presentations

    Example of a project budget

    Funding Availability

    The Virginia Department of Health will fund two dental safety net clinics up to $20,000 each for participating in this project and developing a SBOHP. Funding will begin once a fully executed contract is in place and must be spent by August 15, 2022.

    This funding will support:

    • Infrastructure
    • Supplies and equipment (i.e. portable equipment, software, etc.)
    • Administrative support

    The funding will not support:

    • Direct care

    Eligible sites must be a dental safety net clinic or a non-profit dental clinic in Virginia. Your site may already have a SBOHP, which you are interested in expanding to other schools, but it is not necessary. It is also not necessary to have established relationships with schools in your area; this project will help you make those new connections.

    Application & Review Process

    Click the button below to fill out the short application.

    All submitted applications will be reviewed by Virginia Health Catalyst staff. The review process may involve a phone conference or interview with applicants on a case-by-case basis, though it may not be required. A maximum of two dental safety net clinics will be selected for this cohort.

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