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New Vision Brings Hawai‘i’s Oral Health Into Focus

The Hawai’i Oral Health Coalition (HOHC) has undergone significant development over the past five years. The COVID-19 pandemic arrived less than a year after HOHC had taken its first steps. Without a doubt, the pandemic has underscored the importance of having a robust public health infrastructure and policies to support it, and Hawaii’s oral health system is no exception. Even as we see it today, workforce, community programs, and outreach initiatives all have yet to recover from the pervasive effects of the pandemic fully.

While global circumstances certainly shifted how we work and collaborate and almost every other aspect of daily life, HOHC has found strength in its virtual environment. Individual and organizational stakeholders have pressed on with the same degree of dedication, if not greater, despite the inability to convene in person. In fact, coalition membership statewide has continued to grow, as has the scope of the coalition’s work. 

The past two years have marked notable progress for oral health advocates. HOHC has led multiple successful efforts to improve availability and access to oral health care, and plans are underway to keep the momentum going. As the HOHC approaches its fifth anniversary in 2024, coalition leadership has begun to assess all that has taken place through these formative years and develop new approaches that ensure the work of the HOHC remains responsive to the changing oral health landscape in Hawai’i, while keeping its vision of outstanding oral health for the people of Hawai‘i at its core.

In order to fully realize this vision, HOHC relies on a deeper investment in collaboration among state entities, nonprofit organizations, individuals in the community, and the oral health industry. This must continue if we are to observe long-lasting and far-reaching impacts. Fortunately, HOHC has built a foundation for that investment, and its (virtual) door is always open to all those with a vision to share.  

To learn more about HOHC or to share your vision for oral health in Hawai’i, visit hawaiioralhealthcoalition.org, or contact us any time at: info@hiohc.org.

Patrick Donnelly

Patrick Donnelly

Program Manager: Hawai'i Oral Health Coalition
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