Our Work

The Maryland Oral Health Summit

The Maryland Oral Health Summit convened in October 2012, in partnership between the Maryland Dental Action Coalition and the Santa Fe Group.  Following news of the death in 2007 of a 12-year-old Maryland boy, Deamonte Driver, from an untreated dental infection that had spread to his brain shocked the nation, spurred the state of Maryland to immediate action. The state’s response and continued vigilance have been watched closely by other states for lessons learned and paths to take in search of optimal health outcomes.

The momentum created by Maryland’s activities led to the Maryland Oral Health Summit, a meeting held in Columbia, Maryland, bringing some 150 attendees together to review changes and challenges to oral health in Maryland and nationwide, hear about programs in place or planned, and take part in a priority-setting exercise in relation to the first 5-year Maryland Oral Health Plan (2011-2015) launched in May 2011. The Summit was co-sponsored by the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC), which developed the Plan, and the Santa Fe Group. It was designed to build on experiences within and beyond the state and to develop strategies toward maximizing the oral health of all individuals, especially vulnerable populations.

Background papers and commentary was compiled in a Special Issue of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry – Winter 2012.