KGLP Slide Show

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Health Action NM Dental Therapist Proposal

Health Action New Mexico Offers Dental Therapist Proposal to Expand Access to
Oral Health Care In New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. – Health Action New Mexico will present its proposal for
addressing New Mexico’s oral health crisis on Friday, Oct. 12, to the
Interim Legislative Health and Human Services Committee.  Key to this solution
is the introduction of new mid-level dental care providers known as “dental
therapists,” who would work as part of a dentist-led team to deliver
preventive and routine dental care to underserved communities. 

According to the Human Services and Resources Administration, people in 30 of
New Mexico’s 33 states face serious dental care shortages.  Finding
affordable dental care is extremely challenging – some people wait months
for an appointment for a toothache, and others even to go Mexico for dental
care.  This new option would expand and strengthen the dental care workforce
– similar to what nurse practitioners and physician assistants have done for
the medical care workforce -- and provide good-paying jobs.  In Alaska, dental
therapists have made high-quality dental care accessible to more than 35,000
people.  Currently, 20 states currently are exploring dental therapists as a
way to expand oral health care access.

Discussants will be available for questions and answers following the

What:      Policy Proposal Presentation: Dental Therapists for New Mexico
Where: Santa Fe Capitol; Room 322; Santa Fe, NM 87501
When:  Friday, October 12
Time:      9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Todd Hartsfield, DDS, Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry, Arizona
School of Dentistry and Oral Health.
Daniel Kennedy, Dental Health Aide Therapist from Klawock,  Alaska
Ron Romero, DDS, MPH,  Former State Dental  Director of the NM Department of
Michael Bird, MSW, MPH, Vice Chair, Kewa Pueblo Health Board/Kewa Pueblo
Health Corporation; Past President of the American Public Health Association
Don Weidemann, MSH, CEO of Union County Hospital, Clayton, NM
Pamela Blackwell, JD  Director of Oral Health Access, Health Action New

About Health Action New Mexico
Health Action New Mexico is a New Mexican nonpartisan 501 c 3 not-for-profit
health advocacy and policy organization founded in 1995. We serve as an
organizational voice for health care consumers - promoting accessible,
affordable and accountable quality health care for all people living in New

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