OHP in the Media
- Collaborative Project with Southern Nevada Health District--Immunizations and Oral Health for the Halloween Season:
- National Children's Dental Health Month with the Southern Nevada Health District's Dental Clinic-Part 1
- National Children's Dental Health Month with the Southern Nevada Health District's Dental Clinic-Part 2
- National Children's Dental Health Month with the Southern Nevada Health District's Dental Clinic-Part 3
- National Children's Dental Health Month with the Southern Nevada Health District's Dental Clinic-Part 4
- National Children's Dental Health Month with the Southern Nevada Health District's Dental Clinic-Part 5
- National Children's Dental Health Month with the Southern Nevada Health District's Dental Clinic-Part 6
Medical Miles For Rural Smiles
What is the Medical Miles for Rural Smiles (MM4RS)
Nevada is the 7th largest State in the nation; however, out of Nevada’s 17
counties, only 3 (Carson City, Clark and Washoe) are large enough in population
to be considered urban (Nevada State Health Division, 2011). Health
professional shortage areas (HPSA) reflect the level of provider shortage for a
service area. There are 441,382 Nevadans who live in dental HPSAs with an
estimated 16.5% without access to care (Pew Charitable Trusts, 2011).
issues in HPSAs include inadequate primary care resources, limited health
professionals, fragmented service delivery, and inadequate transportation. Many
people remain uninsured due to the barriers in enrolling in Medicaid or
understanding how to maneuver the system. It is not enough, however, to simply
enroll people in Medicaid; providers must be accessible for people to reap the
full benefit of state funded dental services.
From April 9th to June 30th
Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) in partnership with the Nevada
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division Public and
Behavioral Health (DPBH) - Oral Health Program (OHP) launched the Medical Miles for Rural Smiles(MM4RS)
pilot project to bring medical and dental services to rural counties in Nevada
that have been identified as health professional shortage areas.
small one time funding opportunities made the Medical Miles for Rural Smiles
project possible. The first was a
of Health and Human Services Grant and the second was a grant from the Division
of Public and Behavioral Health, Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health
The pilot project which spanned three months included 11
clinical sessions and traveled a total of 2,040 miles. The trip successfully
delivered 221 preventive dental sealants, 117 fluoride varnishes, 120 dental
screenings, 18 dental cleanings, oral cancer screenings, oral health and
nutritional information, Medicaid enrollment paperwork, and oral hygiene
supplies. In addition, 102 immunizations (42 Shingrix, 20 Tdap, and 40 others
including HPV, Hep A, PCV13, MMR) were provided to 57 clients. Through this
$30,000 of donated dental services were provided to patients of all ages in
1 emergency parent consultation for
Department of Child Family Services, nutrition and oral hygiene instruction to
131 children at McGill Elementary in McGill, Nevada, 1 emergency incision and
drainage in Tonopah, Nevada, and nutrition and oral hygiene instruction to 50
seniors at the White Pine Senior Center
is the Oral Health Status in these Counties?
Previous Information on the Oral Health Status of Adults across Nevada
Almost 40% did NOT visit a dentist in the last year (BRFSS 2016)
2018 MM4RS, Adult
“Overall, how would you rate the health of your teeth and gums”
28.13% Excellent/Good vs.
the past 12 months, was there a time when you needed dental care but could not
get it at that time” 64.06% Yes vs. 34.38% No
have any kind of insurance coverage that pays for some or all of your routine
dental care?” 49.21% No vs. 34.92% Yes, (14.29%
2018 MM4RS, Adult Basic Screening Survey
3% had a
severe gingival inflammation
periodontal care (more profound in 65+)
is the Oral Health Status in these Counties?
Previous Information on the Oral Health Status of Children
Head Start: 43% in rural counties had untreated decay vs. 32% in Washoe and 28% in Clark Counties
(2007 DPBH OHP)
*Third grade children: 24% in rural counties had
untreated decay vs. 25% in Washoe and
30% in Clark Counties (2009 DPBH OHP)
2018 MM4RS Children
“How would you rate
the condition of your child’s teeth”
67.44% Excellent/Good vs. 27.9% Fair/Poor
“During the past 12
months, was there a time when your child needed dental care but didn’t get it
because you couldn’t afford it?” 93.02% No and 6.98% Yes
“Do you have any
kind of insurance coverage that pays for some or all of your child’s dental
care?” 60.47% Yes , 23.26% No, 16.28% Unknown
The team consists of Antonina Capurro,
DMD,MPH,MBA, Nevada State Dental Health Officer, Jessica Woods, RDH,MPH, Public
Health Dental Hygienist, Sarah Lugo, MSN, RN, Senior Community Health Nurse,
Judith Flores, RN, Community Health Nurse II, Lizette Enzenauer, Senior
Administrative Assistant II, and Lester Rossi-Boudreaux-Thibodeaux,
How do dentistry and medicine collaborate in
Oral health is essential and
integral to overall health and is much more than healthy teeth. Oral health not
only means being free of tooth decay and gum disease but it also means being
free of chronic oral pain, oral cancer, and other conditions that affect the
mouth and throat.
To address the needs of underserved and rural
populations, innovative methods such as tele-health, mobile units, and portable
dental equipment are needed. The MM4RS project combined a mobile hybrid system
merging both a self-contained motorized unit and portable dental equipment
which offered greater flexibility that address geographic barriers to health
care utilization. An additional focus of
the project was disease prevention through immunization and fluoride varnish
application as well as data collection and patient assessments.
MM4RS medical and dental services were brought together to eliminate
access-to-care issues, educate patients, provide case management, and disease
prevention treatments. For this pilot project, the team focused on
Nye, and White Pine Counties but envision
expanding the number and types of services and intend to broaden established
service areas in the future.
are the consequences of not receiving care in the rural communities of Nevada?
Oral health is intimately related
to the health of the rest of the body. Changes in the mouth are often the first
signs of problems elsewhere in the body such as infectious disease, nutritional
deficiencies, cancers, and immune disorders. Poor oral health and untreated oral
disease also have a significant impact on a number of systemic diseases such as
cardiovascular disease, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, and low birth
weight. In rural Nevada, many residents travel over a hundred miles
for medical and dental care. Early treatment and routine examinations are
needed to avoid emergency situations that can be not only costly to treat but
life threatening when access to care is remote and burdensome to reach.
can we go to find more information on this program?
More information can be found at: https://www.lasvegasheals.org/southern-nevada-health-district-increases-access-to-care-through-expansion-of-services-2/
the program’s hope that this charter trip will be used as proof of concept to
establish funding sources for permanent continuation as well as recruitment of
additional licensed dental and medical staff. A year of trips is planned to
launch in the fall of 2019. Nevada needs reliable high quality medical and
dental services. If you would like to volunteer for to the Medical Miles for
Rural Smiles(MM4RS) program, please contact Dr. Capurro, State Dental Health
Officer, in the Nevada Oral Health Program at:
We need your help to bring quality
medical and dental services to rural Nevada. $160,000 is needed to continue the
MM4RS program over the next year.
You can make the difference in the
lives of rural residents in Nevada by donating to the Southern Nevada Health
District. To donate contact:Southern Nevada Health District • Ernest Blazzard,
Financial Services Manager: MM4RS@snhd.org
The team was asked to participate in the Tonopah Social Services Fair in Tonopah, NV during which Cleanings, exams, dental sealants, fluoride varnishes, immunizations, blood pressure checks, vision screenings and social services were provided.
Dr. Capurro and Jessica Woods shared the success of their trips during the Nevada Health Conference in Reno, NV
Project Homeless Connect
Since its establishment, the Nevada Homeless Alliance has convened community partners in the planning and execution of 26 Project Homeless Connects. In the last five years alone, these evaents have assisted more than 15,000 participants in accessing vital resources.
October, 2018, the Oral Health Program was proud to be able to participate in the Project Homeless Connect event along with the Southern Nevada Health District. We are able to see 105 participants, offering dental screenings, oral cancer screenings, fluoride varnish, and a referral to the Southern Nevada Health District for dental cleanings.
Thank you to Jessica Woods RDH, MPH from the SNHD, Dr. Eve Chung from UNLV School of Dental Medicine, and Liz Metz RDH from Future Smiles for your invaluable contributions.