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DentaQuest Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation to Co-Fund New Oral Health Initiative

Statewide network aims to advance oral health policy with focus on health equity

June 14, 2017 – The DentaQuest Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation today jointly announce their funding for the new California Oral Health Network. The Network will rally and unify diverse stakeholders committed to aligning on local, state, and regional health promotion efforts, while supporting implementation of the California Department of Public Health’s State Oral Health Plan.

The Network will be led by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), a statewide multicultural health policy organization with offices in Oakland, Sacramento and Los Angeles that promotes health equity by advocating for public policies and sufficient resources to address the health needs of communities of color. Their leadership will infuse new energy into the oral health advocacy sphere, bringing together a broad range of constituents to champion greater access to oral health care. CPEHN was selected as the lead organization via an open call for proposals process earlier this year.

“CPEHN is going to help unleash the passion and power of state and community advocates by bringing them together in this effort,” DentaQuest Foundation Executive Director Mike Monopoli said. “Now is the time to align our collective voices to strengthen the care, policy, financing, and community systems in California for better oral health for all statewide and across the country.”

“Oral health has been on the margins of our health care system,” said Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation. “Not enough stakeholders understand the impact of oral health on poor nutrition, self-esteem, employment, and exacerbating chronic disease. I am confident that under CPEHN’s leadership the network will make great strides in elevating attention to, and taking action to improve the oral health of all Californians, particularly those who are low-income adults and seniors.”

“CPEHN would like to thank the DentaQuest Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation for their important investment in the oral health of Californians,” CPEHN Executive Director Sarah de Guia said. “I am excited to work with many esteemed colleagues in California who have pioneered the way for a successful oral health network for the state. Together we will help to improve oral health equity throughout California.”

Oral health advocates from across the state will be coming together this week in Sacramento to discuss opportunities and strategies for this network to advance the work of Oral Health 2020, a coordinated nationwide effort to improve oral health for all.

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