Southern Nevada Oral Health Coalition
Minutes – February 1, 2002
University of Nevada Las Vegas, School of Dentistry
A. Meeting called to order at noon by Christine Forsch
B. In attendance:
Maury Astley, Nevada Dental Association
Brian Brooks, Nevada Rural Health Centers, Homeless Program
Terri Clark, UNLV School of Dentistry, Crackdown on Cancer
Robert Cooley, DDS, State Dental Health Officer, Director UNLV Pediatric Dental
Patricia Craddock, Nevada Dental Association, Access to Care Committee
Patricia Durbin, Communications Director, Great Basin Primary Care Association
Maureen Fanning, RN, Clark County District Health Department
Chris Forsch, RDH, Health Education Contractor, Nevada State Health Division
Autumn Hall, Director, Huntridge Teen Clinic
VaLonne Harmon, Executive Director, Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners
Annette Lincicome, RDH, Huntridge Teen Clinic
Georgeanne Luxron, Clinic on Wheels
Cathy Lytle, RDH, Project Manager, Miles for Smiles and Donated Dental Services
Kathleen Newton, Medicaid Managed Care, Division of Health care Financing and
David Ord, DDS, UNLV School of Dentistry
Shari Peterson, RDH, Nevada Dental Hygienists’ Association, CCSN Dental Hygiene
Senator Raymond Rawson, DDS, Director CCSN Dental Hygiene Program
Susan Silverton. MD, Dean of Academic Affairs, UNLV School of Dentistry
Virginia Smith RN, Health Services Department, Clark County School District
Rick Thiriot, DDS, Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners
Candace Thompson, Channel 10, Ready to Learn
Roger Volker, Director, Great Basin Primary Care Association
Michelle Wilson, Nevada Rural Health Centers
Those in attendance identified themselves, presented information about their programs
and identified their concerns related to oral health in Southern Nevada.
Nevada State Health Division (Robert Cooley, DDS State Dental Health Officer and
Chris Forsch, RDH Contractor). In September of 2001, the Nevada State Health Division
held four community-based oral health stakeholders meetings in Reno, Las Vegas, Elko
and with WIC Managers. Participants were asked to identify needs in their community.
Southern Nevada participants identified a need to establish an effective method to
facilitate ongoing communication and collaboration regarding oral health issues in their
community. The Nevada State Health Division was asked to facilitate the establishment
of an oral health coalition in Southern Nevada.
Miles for Smiles (Cathy Lytle). Miles for Smiles provides preventive and restorative
treatment to children in Clark County School through the use of a large bus outfitted with
two dental operatories.
Donated Dental Services (Cathy Lytle). Donated Dental Services provides no-cost
dental services to the elderly, handicapped and medically compromised. Throughout the
state, there are approximately 96 dentists participating in the program. However, there is
currently a waiting list of 90 clients seeking services through the program. Cathy feels
that a coalition could be used to educate the community about oral health issues.
Nevada Dental Association (Maury Astley, Patty Craddock) The Nevada Dental
Association (NDA) believes that a coalition is important because people need to know
what other organizations are doing to address oral health problems in the community.
The purpose of the NDA Dental Access Committee is to identify problems and come up
with solutions. NDA would like to establish a program similar to the Northern Nevada
Dental Health Program (NNDHP) in Southern Nevada. Low-income and uninsured
children are referred to NNDHP by various agencies in Northern Nevada. The program
then matches the child to a dentist who has agreed to provide services at no cost to the
child or his family. If the child is covered by Medicaid or Nevada Check Up, NNDHP
bills those programs. Reimbursement from Medicaid or Nevada Check Up is retained by
the NNDHP to cover administrative expenses. NDA also would like to obtain a grant to
pay for some basic dental treatment for children. The thought is that if a doctor took the
child into his practice and provided some work for which he was reimbursed, he might be
willing to also provide some services at no charge. In addition they are investigating
establishing a clinic where dentists could go and provide services on a voluntary basis.
Channel 10, Ready to Learn (Candice Thompson). The program provides educational
workshops and reading materials on oral health in English and Spanish for children and
their parents. Since October, she has presented 49 workshops for over 1000 children.
85% of these children’s parents also attended.
Huntridge Teen Clinic (Annette Lincicome and Autumn Hall) Huntridge Teen Clinic
provides free or low/cost dental and medical services to adolescents age 12 to 18.
Restorative dental services are provided by volunteer dentists. Client’s needs range from
simple to complex. At this time, Huntridge Teen Clinic has volunteer dentists lined up for
every Friday for the next 3 months and a few dentists on the other days of the week.
Currently Huntridge Teen Clinic has funding for a dental hygienist 19 hours a week and a
dental assistant 30 hours a week.
Nevada Rural Health Centers (Brian Brooks and Michelle Wilson) Nevada Rural
Health Centers has 3 clinics in Southern Nevada and they are planning 2 more. They
would like to eventually be able to provide dental as well as medical services. The
number one need of clients is dental treatment; however, the clinic does not have dental
facilities. Right now, all they can do is provide antibiotics and pain medication. They
have even had to admit clients to the hospital at University Medical Center because their
dental needs were causing life-threatening complications. They currently have 5 dentists
who are willing to accept a few patients a month for free services. Their clients generally
have transportation and most clients are around long enough to follow through with
treatment. Nevada Rural Health Centers’ greatest need is to improve the referral network
for dental services.
Senator Rawson. Senator Rawson believes that many of the access to care issues in
Southern Nevada will be improved when the UNLV School of Dentistry is up and
running and has students in their third and fourth years of training. He asked the
coalition to keep that in mind as it plans its goals and objectives. Current staff of the
UNLV School of Dentistry clinics could provide low-cost dentures if funds were
available to pay the lab costs. In addition, Senator Rawson would be willing to consider
any legislative agendas the coalition may come up with.
UNLV School of Dentistry (Susan Silverton, David Ord). The school of dentistry is
envisioned as a dental school without walls, where students are out in the community, not
secluded behind the walls of the dental school. When the students first start seeing
patients, they will start with simple procedures and cases. As students progress through
school they will need more challenging and complex cases. As a result, the school will
eventually be able to provide care for, and will need to have, patients with a wide variety
of needs. In addition students will be required to provide treatment services in
community settings. However, the clinic must have dental equipment and operatories
and the students must be supervised by a dentist. Students will also go into Clark County
School District school to provide oral health education and screening to students.
Great Basin Primary Care Association (Roger Volker, Patricia Durbin). Great Basin
Primary Care Association (GBPCA) represents safety-net providers throughout the state,
including Federally Qualified Health Centers and Tribal Clinics. There is a great need for
facilities for dentists to work in. GBPCA is working to get clinics established by
facilitating dialogue with various community groups with an interest in establishing
clinics and by pursuing funding opportunities. GBPCA is also involved in policy and
legislative issues. Roger suggested that the oral health coalition send at least one
representative to meetings of the Clark County Health Access Consortium. The Clark
County Health Access Consortium is a large group of stakeholders interested in
improving access to health services in Clark County. They have identified access to oral
health services as a major need in Clark County. In addition, establishing dental facilities
in all existing and new clinics has been identified as a priority.
GBPCA offered to provide the Southern Nevada Oral Health Coalition space on their
Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, Medicaid Managed Care (Kathleen
Newton). Kathy is brand new to her position and was present to learn more about the
coalition, the members and the goals.
Clark County District Health Department (Maureen Fanning). Promotion of oral
health is a major goal of the Clark County District Health Department. The District
Health Department has access to large numbers of children through their programs. They
see over 15,000 children a year. The District Health Department would like to see an
increase in the number of Early Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment
(EPSDT) screenings that include an oral health screening.
Community College of Southern Nevada Dental Hygiene Program (Shari Peterson).
The Community College of Southern Nevada Dental Hygiene Program graduates a class
of 30 dental hygienists each year. The school has a clinic where low-cost dental hygiene
services such as oral health education, x-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatments are
Nevada Dental Hygienists’ Association (Shari Peterson). The Nevada Dental
Hygienists' Association is committed to increasing the awareness of and ensuring access
to quality oral health care and sees the coalition as a means to pursue that goal.
Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners (VaLonne Harmon and Rick Thiriot, DDS).
The Nevada State Board is in charge of regulating the practice of dentistry and dental
hygiene in the state of Nevada. The Board has sent out 610 applications to individuals
interested in licensure by credential. Five applicants have completed the application
process. These applications will be voted on at the February 4th meeting of the State
Board of Dental Examiners. The State Board of Dental Examiners would like to see the
coalition educate legislators on the lack of dental facilities in rural Nevada and the lack of
FQHCs and non-profit dental facilities in Washoe and Clark Counties.
Clark County School District (Virginia Smith). There are 231,000 students enrolled in
the Clark County School District. There are 160 school nurses providing services to
these students (1 nurse for every 1,438 students). Because there are no resources
available, when a child is in need of emergency dental treatment, each school nurse calls
her personal dentist and begs him to provide treatment to the child as a personal favor.
Crackdown on Cancer (Terri Clark). Crackdown on Cancer utilizes 2 motor homes
outfitted with dental operatories to provide oral cancer screenings to students in every
high school in Nevada. Terri has seen a great need to educate adults as well as children
and youth on the risks of tobacco use.
D. Immediate Coalition Activities
a. Develop a website to include the following information:
1. Coalition members and contact information.
2. Minutes of meeting
3. Member list-serve
4. A statewide referral list for dental services.
5. A list of unused or underutilized dental facilities throughout the
6. A list of counties that have been designated as underserved by
the Office of Rural Health (when available).
b. Suggested links to, and on, the website to include:
1. UNLV School of Dentistry.
2. Nevada State Health Division
2. By whom:
1. Chris Forsch will develop above information.
2. Drafts will be submitted to members for review
3. Patricia Durbin will build web site.
E. Future Coalition Activities
2. Investigate grants –all members
3. Provide a grant writing course for coalition members – Dr. Silverton will
4. If the coalition continues and can show they have been effective,
investigate seeking funding from the legislature – Senator Rawson
F. Next Meeting - Friday, February 22 at noon at the UNLV School of Dentistry
Building on the corner of Tarkanian and Harmon in Las Vegas.
G. Meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.
Prior to the next meeting, please give some thought to, and be
prepared to discuss, the following:
1. What should the coalition be called?
2. How should the coalition be structured? Officers, sub-
committees? If not now, in the future?
3. Specific goals and objectives members would like pursued.