Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring in to Healthier Habits

It’s National Nutrition Month!

Let’s face it, we all could be doing a little (or a lot) more to live healthier lives.  It’s good to know that there are people out there that want to help us get on the right path! Here are some organizations that are helping us get motivated and learn tricks and tips to getting healthier.

It’s been 5 years since First Lady Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” campaign.  This initiation encourages children (however, people of all ages should take up these healthy habits!) to get active and eat better for healthier lives. View their “Cheers to Five Years of Let’s Move!” blog post and also facts, ways to eat healthy, get active and more! 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is helping to celebrate National Nutrition Month by giving us “Ten Ways to Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle During [and after] National Nutrition Month”. They provide motivation to staying healthy such as, eating right and exercising to win a Presidential Active Lifestyle Award.  Another motivator would be, putting yourself out there and using our First Lady’s “Let’s Move” #GimmeFive hashtag to document your healthy actions on social media.  Read the rest of the tips, motivators and nutrition advice here.

Don't think you have time to work out? The Columbus Dispatch demonstrates different ways to exercise at your desk while you are in the office.  View the article here. Maybe, you don't have a lot of experience exercising.  Today's Pulse lists the best low-impact exercises for beginners. Click Here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Dentistry's Role in the PCMH Model of Care

Dentistry’s partnership role in achieving total health for our patients

By Theodore E. Wymyslo MD, FAAFP
Chief Medical Officer, Ohio Association
of Community Health Centers

Comprehensive, coordinated healthcare is the hallmark of the new model of care many of you have been hearing about around Ohio – the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). In this model of patient care, managing the patient’s total health means addressing their biological, psychological and social needs, many of which occur when the patient is not in your office. Being patient-centered entails designing your system to be available and easily utilized by patients according to THEIR needs, schedules and definitions – not around the convenience of the providers. The term “home” refers to where all the known health information on the patient resides – the collection of data and communications from ALL the points of health contact in the community. For the PCMH model to work, there must be a sense of TEAM among all providers so that each knows what the other is doing, and so they can effectively co-manage decisions with the patient as partner. In order to be effective, its communications must extend beyond its own walls and into the rest of the community into the Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhood.

Electronic Health Records (EHRs) can be a useful tool for this information exchange, but only if the various health providers can push and pull information with the primary care office where the total health Dentistry’s partnership role in achieving total health for our patients information resides. This process allows the dental practice to reinforce health advice and plans of the primary care practice, inject their own oral health plan into the patient’s personal plan of care, and make joint health decisions with the primary care provider (PCP) to optimally benefit the whole patient. Similarly, the PCP reinforces the oral health plan of care to enhance patient adherence.

Many feel expanding the role of the dental office in the total health of patients presents a wonderful opportunity to more effectively address the cause of 70 percent of premature death and chronic disease prevalence in our population – lifestyle choices. All of us in health care need to be engaged in the solution to this problem if we hope to be successful. Indeed, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has undertaken a new direction with this challenge in mind … that of “Creating a Culture of Health in America.” They anticipate this will be a 20 year effort – one whole generation – to realize the culture change we need to get our entire population focused on optimizing health and well-being, rather than treating illness and trying to correct the adverse effects that poor lifestyle choices have had on our patients.

Unless the health professions all join together in this effort and utilize a system of care that facilitates patient co-management and care coordination, it is unlikely we will be successful in battling the epidemics of obesity, inactivity and addiction that plaque our population today.

So I will challenge dentistry to keep expanding its focus by joining with the PCMH model of care in addressing the total health of the patient – their biopsychosocial well-being. Help us reinforce the importance of good nutrition, encourage greater physical activity, confront and discourage addictions of all types, pay attention to the safety of relationships and housing, reinforce the importance of immunizations, be aware of fluoride in the water and lead in the paint in our patients’ communities, and be sure your patient is part of a coordinated health care delivery system. I will similarly challenge medical health care providers to increase their efforts to achieve good oral health, reinforcing your guidance given to your dental patients when they visit our medical practices. Only by all health professions working together as a team, with the patient, can we achieve the culture change we look for and need to achieve in America.

Dr. Wymyslo will present “Dentistry’s Role in the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model of Care” at the ODA Leadership Institute on March 28. Leadership Institute is March 27-28. Visit for more information and to register.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Oral Health Matters for Pregnant Women

The Importance of Oral Health: Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women have many things to think about, but it’s also important for them to “think teeth.” The health of a woman’s teeth is actually linked to the health of her child. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has an excellent, free-to-order flyer that can be used by dental clinics, community health centers, WIC clinics and other settings to educate women about protecting their teeth and gums.

Education is crucial because four out of 10 pregnant women have tooth decay or some form of gum disease. That decay and disease can impact her child. Some studies have found an association between periodontal (gum) disease and pre-term or low-birth weight babies. In addition, women with poor dental health have the potential to transmit cavity-causing bacteria to their children. Doing so raises kids’ risk of tooth decay.

Dental health for pregnant women is important, yet often overlooked. Some women mistakenly believe they should not receive dental care during pregnancy. Dentists may also believe that patient care should be delayed during pregnancy. In a survey of obstetricians and gynecologists, 77% said their patients had reported being declined dental services due to pregnancy.

However, this goes against strong evidence that dental care is safe — and recommended — during pregnancy. In 2013, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued recommendations that "women should be counseled about the maintenance of good oral health as well as the safety and importance of oral health care during pregnancy."

Pregnant women in some states are eligible for free dental coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Children enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP are covered for dental services.

The CMS flyer mentioned earlier can be ordered in large quantities for free. It offers tips for pregnant women’s dental care, and it encourages them to see if they’re eligible for Medicaid enrollment. Share the handout today to help educate pregnant women about oral health.

Blog post provided by: Children's Dental Health Project


Spread the word:

Twitter- use hashtag #ThinkTeeth
Materials- here are some free educational materials

Monday, March 9, 2015

Colon Cancer | Catching it Early - Guest Blog by the American Cancer Society

Colon Cancer | Catching it Early 

Guest Blog by Anna Fetzer, MPH Senior Manager, Primary Care for the American Cancer Society

For many, March means the beginning of spring, but for those in the health care profession, March has another important beginning: colon cancer awareness month. While colon cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. If the good news is that colon cancer is preventable and treatable when found early, the bad news is that only 65% of adults age 50 to 75 are up-to-date with the recommended screening for colorectal cancer, meaning that 23 million adults are not getting tested as recommended.

While awareness of colon cancer screening is high, the fact remains that colonoscopies and other screening tests for colon cancer are perceived as invasive, embarrassing, uncomfortable, unpleasant, and expensive.  The American Cancer Society is here to help health care professionals understand patient barriers to getting screened and to help them overcome those barriers. Working together, we want to spread the message that there are screening options available, including simple take home options, and that everyone should talk to their doctor or health care professional about getting screened.

Earlier this year, the OACHC made a pledge to increase colorectal screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society, the CDC and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.  We are excited to partner with OACHC and you on this important campaign and hope it will lead to more collaboration and success in providing colorectal screening options to your patients. 

There are five things that you can do to be a part of 80% by 2018:

  1. Understand the power of the physician recommendation.  Recommend colorectal screening to your patients ages 50 and older, as well as to younger patients at an increased risk of disease.  They may need to start screening at an earlier age.
  2. Measure the colorectal cancer screening rate in your practice; it may not be as high as you think.
  3. Use evidenced-based practice changes to systematize screening in your office.  More screening doesn’t have to mean more work for you.
  4. Understand the screening options for colorectal cancer. Educate your patients and staff on the various testing options.
  5. Make sure that patients and staff understand that most insurance companies are required to cover colorectal cancer screening.


80% by 2018

The 80% by 2018 handout

The American Cancer Society has many resources on how to increase screening rates in practice.  A great place to start is  For more information about the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and 80% by 2018, go to:

The 80% by 2018 initiative is an extraordinary effort, and we can all do our part toward eliminating colon cancer as a major health problem.  Thanks for all you do to improve the health of those in your communities every day, and thank you for helping to spread the message of the importance of colon cancer screening.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

OACHC Presents the Biggest and Best Conference Yet!


2015 OACHC Annual Conference



OACHC is happy to present the 2015 Annual Conference: Helping All Communities Live Healthier Lives.  This 3 day event is shaping up to be our largest event yet with close to 50 exhibitors, about 40 presenters and 220 registered attendees.  

This conference will start with the OACHC Meeting of the Board of Directors on Monday afternoon, March 9th.  Directly followed by a Board of Directors reception. 

The conference will kick off for all attendees bright and early Tuesday morning with a legislative update, bringing you the latest information on the legislation impacting your health center and your patients.  Following the plenary update, the conference will split in to breakout sessions featuring multiple offerings in finance, clinical, workforce, outreach, dental, board and administrative tracks. 

Following your Tuesday breakout sessions we invite you to relax and network with your peers and our exhibitors at our Tuesday Welcome Reception (Sponsored by Cardinal).  We will be offering complimentary refreshments and ample ambiance for great conversation.

Wednesday morning we continue our educational breakout sessions in the morning and reconvene for a keynote session and lunch. Dr. Miller will be presenting a session on successfully integrating behavioral health.  The conference ends at 2:00pm Wednesday, giving you ample time to get home safely.  

  Check out what is new this year!

  • Multiple 202 offerings will be available on Tuesday to those attendees who are more advanced learners.
  • The conference will feature one reception that will be held on Tuesday evening. (OACHC's Legislative Day will be held April 15th)
  • Two full days of the Dental Track with CDEs offered.

Continuing Education

  • CEU Elective Credits: up to 9.75 hours AAFP #68425
  • Certificate of Participation:up to 9.75 hours
  • CPE Credit: Potential of 6.5 hours
  • CDE Credit: Potential of 6.5 hours

Great Location

The 2015 Annual Conference is located just a hop, skip and a jump away from fun and activities at the Hilton Polaris. The Polaris Fashion Plaza is a great destination point full of  food, shopping and more!  After a fulfilling day of learning at the 2015 Annual Conference you will have a blast in this hot location! Enjoy a fun evening of upscale bowling at Star Lanes Polaris just across the road from your hotel.  If you are looking for great places to eat near the conference, you have the bustling brewery/sports bar, BJ’s Brewhouse. Or, perhaps you are looking for the fine dining experience such as Eddie Merlot’s or Michelle’s Steakhouse.  There are food and attractions for any taste you might have, whether it be California Pizza, a Bistro, Cheesecake, an Italian grill and more!


Not registered!? Don't miss out!  

We accept onsite registrations at the conference!  Just fill out the registration form and bring payment with you to the conference registration desk.