Programs & Initiatives

National Oral Health Innovation & Integration Network

A strong oral health safety-net system is vital to meet current and future demand for oral health prevention, education and treatment for underinsured and underserved children and adults. The Strengthening the Oral Health Safety Net (SOHSN) Initiative was developed in 2011 by DentaQuest Foundation, state Primary Care Associations and national partners to address this challenge with support at the national, state/regional, and community levels. Over the course of five years, this initiative included 14 state PCAs and over 200 community health centers.

To build on the momentum generated by SOHSN, the National Oral Health Innovation and Integration Network (NOHIIN) was initiated.  NOHIIN is a network of PCAs and safety net providers that continues to work together to elevate the importance of oral health to overall health and person centered care.  NOHIIN’s mission is to unify and empower a network of PCAs and safety net providers to be champions of oral health as a part of overall health.  We envision an innovative, equitable safety net healthcare system where:

  • Oral health is an integrated, critical component of person-centered, comprehensive healthcare and well-being
  • Health outcomes are improved for all
  • PCAs and safety net providers are part of a network and have access to the tools and resources needed to elevate oral health

As one of the national partners of this initiative, NNOHA’s primary role is engaging and supporting the FQHC- affiliated dental programs. DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions, a national partner, does an initial assessment with each dental program to identify areas in need of development in order to strengthen their program. NNOHA provides support and resources to address those identified areas.

In addition to working to address the needs of these dental programs, an additional partner, Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, works with the 15 Primary Care Associations (PCAs) currently engaged in the project. At the state level, the goal is to develop oral health leadership within the state, advocate for safety net oral health needs among policy makers, and develop programming for member organizations that encourages interprofessional collaboration between medical and dental.

At the national level National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is building internal capacity to promote oral health on behalf of safety-net providers.

This project is funded by DentaQuest Foundation. For more information, contact Amy Derrick.

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