Aloha from the Hawaiʻi Oral Health Coalition!  We hope you are all doing well and staying safe and healthy. Thank you all for being a voice of positive change in our community.  We strive for equity and access to oral health care for each community member and together, we can get closer to reaching these goals.  Below are some updates and ways you can engage with the Hawaiʻi Oral Health Coalition (HOHC):

  • ·We are thankful for all the work Dr. Nicole Nakashima did this past year helping us solidify and grow our coalition.  Unfortunately, Nicole has relocated, however we are pleased to announce that Dr. Sonia Gupta joined HIPHI in July and will be providing leadership and support to the Coalition.  Sonia is a dentist based on Maui, who has been focused on hospital dentistry for our special needs and medically compromised community for the past ten years.  She will continue caring for the community clinic in the dental office and hospital part time, while she leads our Hawaiʻi Oral Health Coalition. 
  • Join our Coalition! We need to hear your voice! What are your oral health concerns for our community?  Do you feel we all have equal access to oral health care in Hawaiʻi?  Do you feel there is anything we can do together to improve oral health and overall health in our community? We are working hard to increase our oral health coalition membership and invite you to join if you’re interested in working together to improve our community’s oral health and overall health.  Please join us today at the Hawaiʻi Oral Health Coalition.
  • Save the date for our Statewide Oral Health Coalition Meeting October 29, 3:30-5:30.  We will be discussing legislative action plans for 2020 and would love to have you at this important meeting.  Please complete the Hawaiʻi Oral Health Coalition form to add your information and receive a sign-up link.
  • Our committee chairs have been invaluable to our coalition and we appreciate their support.  Mahalo to Dr. Tony Kim, chair of our coalition, for his leadership.  Congratulations to Nancy Partika on her retirement; we thank her for her dedication to our community.  HOHC currently has the following committees:
    • Advocacy,
    • Prevention and Access
    • Surveillance and Data
    • Workforce
    • Leadership Council
    • County level leaders (and task forces). 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all of us, and we are doing our best to support our providers in every way possible.  We have assisted with personal protective equipment (PPE) coordination in response to healthcare workers voicing their concerns about PPE shortages. We are working closely with dental associations and healthcare workers and providers. Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency is now taking orders online for PPE for providers and non-profit organizations.
  • Dental visits during COVID-19: For dental needs and emergencies, dental professionals recommend visiting a dentist instead of your local Emergency Room or urgent care center to preserve maximum capacity for COVID-19 and other emergencies. Find a dentist near you using this tool provided by the Hawaiʻi Dental Association. If you are enrolled in Medicaid or don’t have health insurance, you can still call a primary care provider at your nearest health center.