the two studies had related statements of task, the two projects had separate committees, meetings, and report review processes. The two committees were not made aware of the other’s conclusions or recommendations.

The IOM Committee on an Oral Health Initiative’s report, Advancing Oral Health in America, released in April 2011, summarizes the state of oral health today, underscores the important oral-systemic connection, describes the current role of HHS, and provides lessons learned from previous related efforts. The committee made seven recommendations in six key areas, including establishing and evaluating an oral health initiative; focusing on prevention; improving oral health literacy; enhancing the delivery of oral health care; expanding research; and measuring progress. Finally, the committee identified three key areas needed to ensure success: strong leadership, sustained interest, and the involvement of multiple stakeholders. This appendix provides an overview of the report, Advancing Oral Health in America. Full text of the report can be found online at


The Committee on an Oral Health Initiative developed a set of organizing principles based on the areas in greatest need of attention as well as approaches that have the most potential for creating improvements:

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.1

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.


Based on these principles, the Committee on an Oral Health Initiative recommended several approaches that HHS could take to help improve the


1 Nondental health care professionals includes, but is not limited to, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, and physicians.

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