Grant Project Title
Building capacity and demand for an equitable oral health system
Grantee Address

Community Catalyst
One Federal Street
Boston, MA
United States

Community Catalyst is a national non-profit advocacy organization working to build the consumer and community leadership that is required to transform the American health system.

CareQuest Institute’s partnership with Community Catalyst has evolved over the past 5 years and has included focused technical assistance for grassroots and state advocacy grantees, capacity building for the broader oral health field in terms of engaging in advocacy strategies, and more recently, resulted in the development of the national field scan on oral health. Additionally, over the past couple of years, Community Catalyst has stepped into a leadership role in terms of federal oral health policy, serving on the Medicare coalition, supporting the OPEN Federal Oral Health Policy Network Response Team, and participating in the ongoing CMS meetings with Dr. Chalmers.

In 2021 specifically, Community Catalyst established the building blocks for a robust, community-informed oral health policy agenda. This work included identifying common oral health policy levers, conducting a media scan, interviewing stakeholders and experts, leading monthly “Tooth Tuesday” workshops for CareQuest Institute grantees and other partners, and developing a set of priorities that include Medicaid/Medicare coverage, minimally invasive dentistry, expanded use of teledentistry, workforce, care delivery reform, oral health integration, and improving access. Also, in addition to playing a key role in advocacy efforts to advance a Medicare Part B dental benefit in collaboration with CareQuest Institute Advocacy Staff, they partnered with Raising Women’s Voices and the Women’s Health Project to help shape and provide expertise on oral health for pregnant and postpartum people.

The cornerstone of the work that Community Catalyst and CareQuest Institute have partnered on has been the strengthening of strategies to engage communities in advancing policies and practices to build a more equitable oral health system. This proposal lays out three related overarching buckets of work that will capitalize on several windows of opportunity. Community Catalyst will:

Advance federal policy advocacy strategies focused on Medicaid and Medicare, as well as opportunities to advance new payment and practice models and innovations in oral health workforce.

Collaborate with CareQuest Institute to implement multi-lateral learning sessions focused on topics such as minimally invasive care, integration, workforce, value-based care and the intersection with economic well-being. The intent of these sessions is to expand the collective understanding of how communities perceive new opportunities for oral health systems change as well as supporting a new base of consumers to mobilize around opportunities for change.

Deploy the Policy Equity Tool, through direct technical support for CareQuest Institute grantees to strengthen their capacity to partner with communities in advancing policy in their relative state or community. This includes specific implementation of a “oral health advocacy orientation” for new partners and organizations that are new to the oral health field.

Within each of these areas of work there are a series of strategies that support the expansion of partnerships through one-on-one technical support as well as strengthening the capacity of the broader field. This work also includes supporting conversations to refine or translate information so as to build a bridge between CareQuest Institute strategic focus areas (i.e. minimally invasive care, integration, value-based care, coverage, workforce) and communities that are suffering the most from systemic inequities.

Through these three areas of work, the goal is to strengthen the capacity of grantees and partners to engage in critical conversations related to CareQuest Institute strategic focus areas while, at the same time, positioning CareQuest Institute and its grantees to drive policy and regulatory change that enables broader impact.

The budget for this proposal is $500,000. Of that, $325k is budgeted for salaries and time associated with fulfilling the grant deliverables. There is additionally $60,000 within the budget that is being matched by the Arcora Foundation to support government affairs. The total organizational budget for Community Catalyst is just over $41 million, which means this grant represents just about 1% of their total budget.

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