Community-Based Oral Health Programs: A Need and Plan for Evaluation

The Surgeon General’s National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health points out that numerous barriers hinder many Americans from attaining optimal oral health, and calls for overcoming these barriers by “replicating effective programs and proven efforts.” In a recently released report, by the Washington, DC-based nonprofit, nonpartisan Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has laid out a plan for developing an evaluation “toolbox” for community-based oral health programs. It is based on a review of program evaluations and interviews with community-based oral health experts, program administrators, providers, policymakers, and researchers.