Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) June 16, 2014
The California Dental Association applauds the Legislature’s approval of a new state budget plan that includes funding for two positions — a state dental director, who must be a licensed dentist, and an epidemiologist — in the Department of Public Health to establish and implement a state oral health program.
The 2014-15 budget, which still needs the governor’s signature, provides $474,000 in funding for the first year to assess oral health needs in the state, develop and manage a state oral health plan and apply for and manage federal and private grants to support oral health. The governor proposed this funding in his April budget revisions.
“This is the most impactful state oral health achievement in decades. CDA members have collectively worked for and supported the establishment of a state dental director for many years,” said CDA President James Stephens, DDS. “This is a significant step toward addressing the oral health care crisis facing millions of Californians through coordinated state oral health education and preventive programs led by a dental director and partnered with care provided by dentists across the state.”
CDA made the establishment of a state dental director a top priority of its access to care plan, Phased Strategies for Reducing the Barriers to Dental Care in California. The report was developed in 2011 as a comprehensive strategic approach to reducing barriers to oral health care for vulnerable Californians.
In addition to developing and implementing a state oral health plan, the dental director’s role will also include establishing prevention and oral health literacy projects and working to secure funding for prevention-focused oral health and essential disease prevention services, particularly for children.
“We are pleased that the administration and Legislature recognize that oral health is important to overall health,” Stephens said. “A dental director and state oral health plan will have a far-reaching impact on improving the oral health of Californians.”
About the California Dental Association
The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is committed to the success of our members in service to their patients and the public. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA’s membership consists of more than 25,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit cda.org.