BOX 5-1
Organizing Principles for a New Oral Health Initiative

1.   Establish high-level accountability.

2.   Emphasize disease prevention and oral health promotion.

3.   Improve oral health literacy and cultural competence.

4.   Reduce oral health disparities.

5.   Explore new models for payment and delivery of care.

6.   Enhance the role of nondental health care professionals.

7.   Expand oral health research, and improve data collection.

8.   Promote collaboration among private and public stakeholders.

9.   Measure progress toward short-term and long-term goals and objectives.

10.   Advance the goals and objectives of Healthy People 2020.

partners. The committee suggests that creating a new set of long-term goals would only contribute to the redundancy and fragmentation that is often criticized regarding government programming. In essence, attainment of Healthy People 2020 goals and objectives is the continuing mission of the NOHI. The committee further notes that this approach should not be limited to the goals and objectives of the oral health section, but it also should embrace the goals and objectives of the health communication and health information technology section of Healthy People 2020.

Building upon Healthy People gives the NOHI a framework for sustainability as well as the ability to change goals and objectives depending upon achievements in improving oral health. More importantly, as better measures of quality in oral health are developed, more sophisticated goals can be set. The committee also notes that shorter-term and intermediate goals and objectives will also be needed along the way toward these larger goals.

Establishing High-Level Accountability

All Americans, especially those from vulnerable and underserved populations, are at risk of suffering compromised health. This is particularly important because HHS describes itself as “the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves” (HHS, 2010a).

The committee concluded that previous HHS efforts to improve oral

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