Special Partnership Develops Strategic Plan to Support Children’s Oral Health

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The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership, which includes the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), published a paper in Preventing Chronic Disease that demonstrates through the efforts of a coalition of community partners, plus scientific evidence, policymakers can be influenced to create health-friendly policies surrounding public health issues. The coalition is focusing on three initiatives: reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, regulating retail alcohol sales, and eliminating disparities in children’s oral health.

“Getting people from diverse sectors and perspectives to get out of their comfort zones to work together towards shared community health goals has been the key to the success,” notes Kevin Grumbach, MD, chair of the UCSF Department of Family and Community Medicine, a Hellman Endowed Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and an author of the study, “Achieving Health Equity Through Community Engagement in Translating Evidence to Policy: The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership, 2010–2016.”

This collaboration between community leaders, health partners and UCSF led to the San Francisco Health Commission’s adoption of a strategic plan created to address disparities in the prevalence of childhood caries. Implementation of the plan resulted in the training of more than 70 medical staff members at four additional primary care clinics, and two federally qualified health centers to administer fluoride varnish. The plan also adds nearly 400 fifth- and sixth-graders to the school-based sealant program.

From Decisions in Dentistry. July 2017;3(7):10.

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