he Maryland Oral Health Learning Alliance (MOHLA) is an initiative designed to build a cadre of partners from across Maryland that share a vision of and commitment to improving oral health throughout the state. MOHLA includes traditional and non-traditional stakeholders from the state’s four regions (i.e., central, southern, and western Maryland and the Eastern Shore). In addition, special emphasis is placed on ensuring representation from non-traditional partners in rural and urban communities where many of the state’s disadvantaged and underserved populations reside.
The Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC) established the Maryland Oral Health Learning Alliance (MOHLA) by way of the 2014 Oral Health DentaQuest Foundation grant. Members of the alliance are non-traditional stakeholders who represent entities (e.g., Maryland Public Libraries and the Maryland chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics) that have not traditionally engaged with the oral health community, as well as stakeholders that have been traditional partners. The combined efforts of all partners to better understand and value the tangible and intangible factors that impede and promote the achievement of optimal oral health among disparate groups in Maryland will result in creative solutions that work to improve oral health among all state residents.
MOHLA’s Vision of Impact is to improve oral health for underserved pregnant women and mothers/caregivers and their children under six years of age.
The MOHLA partners developed a work plan that focused on decreasing oral health disparities among Maryland children by:
Oral health literacy training and educational programs provided for MOHLA partners:
The Interprofessional Optimal Child Wellness program was a partnership between University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and MOHLA that included a nationally recognized panel of experts and leaders. Attendees included faculty members from the various UMB schools (Social Work, School of Dentistry, Pharmacy School, and Law). Efforts made on behalf of the program, led to a preliminary planning process to develop an inter-professional institute which incorporates oral health at UMB.
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