A unique group of internationally renowned scholars and leaders from business and the professions bound by a common interest to improve oral health. Together, we strive to be catalysts of positive change by leading the assembly of decision-makers and stakeholders to generate innovative solutions for fundamental health system problems.

Oral Care Access Scholars Program

In conjunction with the Dental Trade Alliance, Santa Fe Group launched a new program in 2002 that focuses on increasing dental care access. Santa Fe Group is providing conceptual guidance and overall project management while the American Dental Trade Association is providing the “mission directive” and funding. Stemming from the latter organization’s commitment to expanding health care access and improving dental productivity, a competitive “call for proposals” was published in 2002. This solicitation sought small-scale, but creative projects that would strike out in new directions to achieve broad, strategic improvements in oral health care and dental productivity.

Funded projects and award recipients include the following:

Amos Deinard, M.D., M.P.H., (University of Minnesota (Minnesota)) “Family Dental Project.” This project will study ways to enhance dental knowledge and skills of pediatric medical team para-professionals so that these persons might more effectively educate parents and provide basic preventive services (topical fluoride, varnishes and sealants).

Larry Domer, M.B.A., D.B.A. (University of Colorado) and Richard Call, D.M.D., M.S., (The Dental Center at Thornton Plaza (Colorado)): “A Pilot Study to Determine Barriers to Implementing Productivity Enhancement Strategies in Dental Practice.” This project will identify barriers and modifiers that influence the implementation of productivity enhancements in dental practice.

Steve Duffin, M.B.A., D.D.S. (Capitol Dental Care (Oregon)): “An examination of Current and Potential Roles for Expanded, Hybrid, and Mid-level Para-professional Practitioners.” This project will assess the effects of para-professional scope of practice laws and rules on access to oral health care and explore expanded function programs for dental para-professionals.

Michelle Henshaw, M.P.H., D.D.S. (Boston University (Massachusetts)) “Dental Action Literacy Project.” This project involves the design of culturally relevant consumer oral health materials.

Bernard Karshmer, M.B.A., Ph.D. (University of Colorado) and Richard Call, D.M.D., M.S., (The Dental Center at Thornton Plaza (Colorado)): “Examination of Alternative Forms of Dental Insurance on Inhibiting Access to Care.” This project will evaluate patient usage patterns under different forms of dental insurance to determine the effects of plan design on access to care and identify what different plans might have significant differences in usage.

Mildred McClain, Ph.D. (University of Nevada Las Vegas (Nevada)): “A Comparative ‘Outcomes Assessment’ of Selected Dental Practice Curricula to Develop Improved Instructional Materials for Dental Students and Practitioners.” This project involves development and application of an evaluation method to assess the University of Nevada dental school practice management curricula and its impact on dental students. Initially, the test will be applied in Nevada, but it could be employed elsewhere.

Shirley Miranda, B.D.S., C.A.G.S., M.S.D. and Lourdes Tellez (Community Voices (Texas)) The Role of Promotores in Accessing Existing Oral Health Services.” This project focuses on several target border communities to develop bi-lingual resource materials, explore ways to improve access, and develop a network of culturally sensitive providers to deliver care.

Richard Niederman, M.A., D.M.D. (The Forsyth Institute (Massachusetts)). “Implement a Primary Prevention Elementary School Program – Planning Grant.” This project will develop a planning grant to develop an NIH funded clinical trial for the medical management of dental caries in three Boston area school districts, districts with over 70% of children participating in free-lunch programs.

Ella Oong, M.P.H., D.M.D. (Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York)). “Cultural Materials – a Media Campaign Focused on Oral Cancer and Minority Populations.” This project will develop a media campaign for the prevention and early detection of oral cancer for minority populations. Social marketing techniques will be used to leverage change in minority communities.

Edward Rossomando, Ph.D., D.D.S. (University of Connecticut Health Center): “Feasibility Study of New Technology on Dental Office Productivity and Access.” This project will evaluate the effect of new technology on the productivity of the dental office, with a particular focus on the access impact of technology as it frees up dental practitioner time.