Oral Health Summit

Appalachian Oral Health Summit

May 21, 2021 at 9:00am - 3:30pm
Virtual Summit

Oral Health is critical to overall health. Poor oral health is linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, yet more than 1 in 5 people report not having visited a dentist in the past few years. In Central Appalachia, access to oral health care can be a major barrier. The Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated the challenges, leading to dental practice closures, cancellation of school-based preventive measures, and an exodus of dental hygienists from the workforce.

The Health Group of the Appalachia Funders Network is pleased to host the virtual Appalachian Oral Health Summit on Friday, May 21, 2021. The summit will engage oral health coalition leaders from around the region, oral health researchers and practitioners, and national experts in the field advocating for oral health care access. We invite you to engage with our impressive docket of speakers, learn about the promising trends, and consider how to address current challenges.

Click Here to Register

Joining the Summit

Once registered, and on the day of the Summit, you can join for any and all sessions. This means that you can stay logged into the webinar platform the entire time, or you may log off during breaks and rejoin when the session begins (see times below; all times in EDT). You will receive automated reminder emails one day and one hour prior to the Summit. Your unique join link will be in that email. 



Welcome | Why Oral Health?

Our introducing speakers will set the stage for the Summit, energizing and inspiring you for your own daily work and role in supporting oral health.

  • Marcia Brand, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
  • Dr. Minter-Jordan, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
  • Sarah Bedard Holland, Virginia Health Catalyst

National Trends and Opportunities in Oral Health

Discuss trending topics with national experts in the field of oral health. Colleagues at Community Catalyst will share highlights from their forthcoming field scan report as well as federal and state policy opportunities and workforce trends. We'll also learn about successful strategies and actions taken by oral health coalitions from around the country. 

  • Kasey Wilson, Community Catalyst
  • Tera Bianchi, Community Catalyst
  • Laura Hale, Community Catalyst
  • Tanya Dorf Brunner, American Network of Oral Health Coalitions (ANOHC)
  • Parrish Ravelli, CareQuest Institute for Oral Health (moderator)

Covid-19: How the Pandemic has Changed the Practice of Oral Health

Covid-19 impacted the oral health care sector in nearly every way. Learn about the hygienist and dental office perspective, the impact on recruiting and educating dentistry students, and real examples of changes made to community-based dentistry and direct patient care. 

  • Bobbi Jo Muto, Marshall University
  • Dr. Raj Khanna, Marshall University
  • Dr. Foti Panagakos, West Virginia University

Children’s Oral Health Outlook and the Social Determinants of Health

Following over a year of disruption in schools, we will discuss the outlook for children’s oral health and how to regain progress won.

  • Dr. Joni Nelson, Medical University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Amy Martin, Medical University of South Carolina

Innovations in the Changing Workforce: Examples in Appalachia

First, you'll hear about local foundation partnerships that are supporting the oral health needs of people in recovery. Then you'll learn about how community-based dentistry is cultivating an effective and efficient workforce through policy reform and addressing the social determinants of health through dental care navigation.

  • Gina Sharps, West Virginia Oral Health Coalition
  • Dr. Zach Brian, North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative

Who Should Attend?

  • State and Local Policymakers
  • Funders
  • Oral Health Coalition Representatives
  • Legislators, Local Officials
  • FQHCs, Primary care providers
  • Oral Health Practitioners
  • State offices of rural oral health
  • School-based Health Providers
  • Community Members


Thank you to our dedicated sponsors who are supporting this summit and the work happening across the region towards oral health improvement.






This event will be the second Appalachian Oral Health Summit hosted by the Appalachia Funders Network. In 2018, the Health Group organized an event for over 60 attendees came to Charleston, WV, including funders, state health departments, oral health coalitions, universities, health nonprofits, and others. Check out the takeaways from that summit.

Kathryn Coulter Rhodes ·