Physician Assistant Oral Health Training Program

Amanda De Lucia News, Success Stories

Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Oral Health Program (OHP) dental hygienist Michelle Martin, RDH, MPH, along with co-worker hygienist Lauren Neufeld, BSDH, train University of Utah PA students in a lecture class. This lecture provides information on children’s oral health issues, risk factors for decay, primary teeth, oral health risk assessments, and how to apply fluoride varnish. Trainers then go with PA program students and faculty to three different Migrant Head Starts (Genola, Honeyville, and Providence, Utah), as well as Ute Tribe Head Start in Roosevelt, Utah, to provide medical well-child visits along with OHRA and fluoride varnish. The PA program has been doing well-child visits at Migrant Head Start for more than 20 years has a wonderful relationship with them. The last eight years we have implemented the OHRA and fluoride varnish training from the UDOH OHP. During the clinic, if a child is found to have an abscess, Martin will call local resources until she finds a dentist who can see the child within 24 hours. Over the last four years we have shared this best practice with PA students, as well as everyone (PA students, UDOH OHP staff, and HS staff) attending a clinic at the HS/EHS. We have also implemented it with Ute Tribe Head Start. We encountered a barrier when the health manager at Ute Tribe HS was gone without much warning. We started working with the director at Ute Tribe HS and are waiting to meet a new health manager who can oversee the project. We continued to see the children and ironed out this hiccup.