Maryland Dental Action Coalition, Inc.
10015 Old Columbia Road, Suite B-215
The Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) is the state’s leading non-governmental oral health policy and advocacy organization. MDAC works to improve the health of all Marylanders through increased oral health promotion, disease prevention, education, advocacy, and access to oral health care.
In past years, CareQuest Institute has supported MDAC’s Medicare & Medicaid advocacy efforts through grantmaking and research, both of which have yielded positive progress for Maryland residents. Over the past three years, MDAC has successfully advocated and secured passage of legislation to improve access to oral health care. Examples of this success include the addition and expansion of postpartum dental and health coverage, the establishment of a prenatal services grant program for the uninsured (including undocumented immigrants), and increased telehealth coverage in both Medicaid and private insurance. Over this time, MDAC developed a diverse and committed network of coalition members who will continue to support awareness-building and upcoming legislation discussions. The organization’s status has steadily increased and its capacity to serve as a leader in oral health policy has been demonstrated through the above successes.
MDAC appropriately submitted this proposal under the Strengthen Community Voice and State Advocacy subprogram of the Advancing Equity through Oral Health fund. The organization’s work will remain focused on policy advocacy related to Medicaid coverage as well as the integration of preventive oral health services into obstetrics and primary care settings following the passing of the 12-month postpartum benefit. Awareness around oral health inequity has risen in Maryland and MDAC has worked diligently to expand its coalition members to ensure greater representation of low-income and historically underserved communities in the policy development, submission, and advocacy efforts to come. The current opportunity, one open to the possible inclusion of this benefit, is in part a result of MDAC’s consistent advocacy work.
Among the key activities MDAC will implement with this grant are the development and distribution of advocacy materials (for Medicaid, Medicare, and dental workforce scope of work), participation in legislative advocacy meetings with Maryland’s Congressional delegation, and promoting awareness of the policy opportunity. MDAC will be working with its public policy partners to create materials that can be adapted and translated to raise awareness of the need for expanded coverage in the state and potentially beyond. The organization will also be working with the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network, Families USA, and Community Catalyst to educate interested coalition advocates and carry forward discussions with state representatives about the financing of an adult dental benefit. Among the many activities mentioned, an important project MDAC will continue working with Maryland Medicaid’s Statewide Mapping Project to develop a mapping project that identifies social determinants of health in Maryland. Data from the mapping project will inform the state’s Oral Health Task Force’s efforts to improve health equity.
This proposal is for a grant amount of $150,975. The organization plans to allocate the majority of the budget (67%) to staff salaries as well as the services of a government affairs consultant and the MDAC Collaborative director who will both support engagement, implementation, and advocacy efforts statewide. Further allocations include travel, state meetings, communications, and office materials. Other/In-kind and match support are indicated within the submitted budget. CareQuest funding makes up 45% of the project budget.