For stories in the weekly Overextended Oklahomans series, journalists from participating newspapers have looked at the burdens exacted by payday lending, childhood hunger and the shortage of neonatal care. In one recent installment, reporting team member Caleb Slinkard offered a detailed exploration of how a scarcity of dental care is impacting poor and rural Oklahomans. Continue reading
A Michigan legislator has renewed efforts to expand the state’s dental workforce to include dental therapists as a means to get more care to underserved communities.
A bill, introduced in September by Republican state Senator Mike Shirkey, would allow dental therapists to begin working in Michigan.
The technically-trained workers, sometimes compared to nurse practitioners, would provide basic preventive and restorative care such as filling decayed teeth as part of dentist-headed teams. Continue reading
One in three Americans aged 50 to 64 are ashamed about the state of their teeth, and an even larger percentage (38 percent) say dental conditions have caused pain, difficulties with eating, missed work or interfered with their lives in other ways within the past two years.
The findings are part of a new report from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, a project led by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation and sponsored by the university’s health system and AARP. Continue reading
Earlier this summer, Gov. Charlie Baker lent his support to a long-running effort to bring a new class of dental providers to Massachusetts.
The governor included language that added dental therapists in a package of measures aimed at containing the rising costs of MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program. Continue reading
President Donald Trump’s decision to declare opioid addiction a national emergency could be at least a step toward addressing the complex crisis blamed for claiming more than 33,000 lives in 2015.
The emergency declaration potentially could be used to expedite state responses, dispatch U.S. Public Health Service personnel to hard-hit communities and step up requirements for prescriber education, according to Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management, who was interviewed for a Washington Post story. Continue reading