Improving Children's Access to Oral Health Services: The Oral Health Initiative

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Although major improvements have been made in oral health during the 20th century, many children in minority groups, from families with low-income, and with special health care needs still do not receive the oral health services that they need. To address the problem, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), working with the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), has launched the Oral Health Initiative. The initiative seeks to strengthen oral health service-delivery systems, enhance collaboration among federal agencies, and provide states with the resources needed to improve the oral health of hard-to-reach children. HRSA's activities include enhancing programs, services, and training, such as expanding the number of direct-service dental programs; establishing or enhancing graduate training programs in pediatric and general dentistry and in dental public health; and funding training programs in dentistry to train dental public health leaders.

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