Past Initiatives

CareQuest Institute for Oral Health has developed and supported partnerships with philanthropies, organizations, and alliances that are also focused on improving oral health for all. These groups are strong and active voices to strengthen oral health policy priorities and identify new opportunities for public-private partnerships focused on systems change for better oral health.

Grassroots Engagement Initiative
The Grassroots Engagement Initiative engaged those most directly impacted by oral health inequity in the movement to improve oral health for all. Twenty grassroots grantees in six states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) were funded with the goal of lifting up the needs and values of populations at the local level.

National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health
The National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH) is filling the gap in professional education about oral health. This systems-change initiative is focused on embedding oral health competency into the education and training systems that support primary care clinicians by recruiting leaders from the medical, nursing, physician assistant, and pharmacy professions. 

National Oral Health Innovation and Integration Network
CareQuest Institute believes that one of the keys to improved oral health for all is the development and implementation of person-centered models of care that emphasize interprofessional practice and value-based transformation. The National Oral Health Innovation and Integration Network (NOHIIN) is leading a national movement to unify and empower Primary Care Associations (PCAs) and safety net providers to be champions of oral health through integrated primary and oral health care.

Oral Health Progress and Equity Network
The Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN) is a national movement of more than 1,400 individuals, grantees, and other organizations working together to improve the oral health of all.

Oral Health 2020
We believe oral health is essential to lifelong health and well-being. Since launching a national systems-change strategy in 2011, our investments have helped to build a large, interconnected network of national, state, and community-based change agents dedicated to improving the oral health of all. Today, this network is transforming the national dialogue and re-shaping the landscape of action on behalf of optimal oral health for all. 

Oral Health 2020 was a multi-year effort to strengthen and unify the network, build upon current initiative strategies, expand impact, and bring about lasting system changes through the power of collective action. We engaged grantees and partners around a set of bold, shared goals with specific targets to be achieved by 2020.

Oral Health 2020 Goals:

  • Goal 1   Eradicate dental disease in children 
    • With the closing of disparity gaps, 85% of children reach age 5 without a cavity 
  • Goal 2   Incorporate oral health into the primary education system
    • The 10 largest school districts have incorporated oral health into their systems
  • Goal 3   Include an adult dental benefit in publicly funded health coverage
    • At least 30 states have an extensive Medicaid adult dental benefit. 
    • Medicare includes an extensive dental benefit. 
  • Goal 4   Build a comprehensive national oral health measurement system 
    • A national and state-based oral health measurement system is in place
  • Goal 5  Integrate oral health into person-centered healthcare. 
    • Oral health is integrating into at least 50% of emerging person-centered care models. 
  • Goal 6   Improve the public perception of the value of oral health to overall health. 
    • Oral health is increasingly included in health dialogue and public policy. 

Building Community Power to Create Oral Health Equity
Through the Building Community Power RFP, the Institute partnered with communities, and their trusted representatives, that have a disproportionately high stake in not only seeing the current oral health system evolve, but in actively participating in its progress as change agents and leaders. The purpose of this initiative was to support advocacy capacity and power-building in these communities and increase their share of voice in the oral health system, at the local, state, and/or national levels; and policy-change conversations. Awardees played a supportive role in strategically advising the Institute about how to center community voice across work happening in its three focus areas. 

Supporting Statewide Advocacy Groups to Create Oral Health Equity
Through the Statewide Advocacy Groups RFP, the Institute partnered with statewide advocacy groups to support policy advocacy efforts driven through collaboration and community partnerships. Organizations demonstrated experience in convening traditional and nontraditional partners, a commitment to social justice and health equity, and active partnerships with community-based organizations. Work done through this RFP was intended to have an impact in at least one of the Institute's three focus areas by shifting power dynamics, conversations, and share of voice in statewide or national oral health movements. 

Driving Oral Health Transformation in the Safety Net Initiative
Through the Driving Oral Health Transformation in the Safety Net Initiative RFP, the Institute worked with primary care associations (PCAs) and/or health center controlled networks (HCCNs) to strengthen the capacity of community health centers, design and test new models of care, and evolve the safety net to best serve millions of uninsured and underserved Americans who rely on this system to meet their healthcare needs, including oral health. Ensuring a strong and stable safety net system continues to be a fundamental role, challenge and opportunity for PCAs and/or HCCNs across the country. This investment is designed to foster new models of person-centered care in community health centers includes strengthening the capacity to be financially viable and efficient, leveraging new and existing models of interprofessional practice, maximizing data collection and utilization, and, where possible, operationalizing alternative payment models.