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    Monday
    Feb072011

    Minnesota was ahead of the curve

    The Commonwealth Fund has released a 50-state report card on children's health.  As part of its analysis, the Fund examined oral health issues, and its report points out the need for states to address the issue of workforce — having enough practitioners to provide dental care to all of those in need.

    On page 52 of its report, the Fund's report states:

    "... Alaska began the Dental Health Aide Therapist program in 2003 in response to the high unmet needs of its rural Alaskan Native population. The successful program has since served as a model of how greater use of midlevel dental providers can improve children’s access to dental services and the quality of care.

    "... states will need to address the supply of dental care, likely with workforce innovations to meet children’s preventive and other oral health needs. States will need to address the supply of dental care, likely with workforce innovations to meet children’s preventive and other oral health needs."

    In other words, Minnesota demonstrated leadership by becoming the first state to pass a law licensing new types of dental providers.  That's something we should be proud of.

     

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