Oral Health Policy and Innovation Shine in a Year of Darkness

In so many ways, the past year was filled with darkness, and public health dentistry was in the center of this darkness. With the exception of emergency care, dental fully shut down for a long period of time, followed by a very slow return to providing dental care. Dental offices were shuttered, staff furloughed, and patients…

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Working Together to Eliminate Food Insecurity

According to Hunger Free Colorado, one in three Coloradans struggle with hunger — a sobering statistic considering the vast amount of wealth in our country. And the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue of food insecurity.  In conversations with local food pantries throughout the past year, I repeatedly heard stories about the increased demand for…

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Advancing children’s oral health through innovation

“A crown? But she’s not even five,” I responded to the dentist in disbelief as I sheepishly wrapped my arms around my daughter. We brush morning and night with fluoridated toothpaste, have regular, preventive dental appointments, and she had four fluoride varnish applications before the age of 3. I work for Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) and…

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A Smile is the Same in Every Language

Starting a new job during a global pandemic was strange to say the least. I joined the team at Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation last year and hit the ground running. This is an amazing team, and I’m proud of the way we were able to support our communities most affected by COVID-19 through the 2020…

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It’s OK to Ask for Help: Financial Resources for Your Family in Colorado

I’m incredibly passionate about health care equity, having been raised in and around disenfranchised communities for the better part of my life. I’m the seventh of eight kids in a family of mixed-status. My first language is Spanish, and the color of my skin is canela, cinnamon. As a teen mom, I tried to not be…

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Connecting the Coloradans Most Impacted by COVID-19 to Resources

When COVID-19 first swept across the nation, dental offices were closed except for emergency services. As the only dedicated oral health funder in Colorado, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) critically evaluated their role and how to best serve Colorado amid the present reality. Traditionally, DDCOF has partnered with communities to reimagine how they can access,…

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A window into health disparities

As a child, my parents ensured I went to the dentist twice a year. I was lucky enough to have braces (only one round) and all of my professional employment opportunities as an adult have provided access to dental insurance. I take my oral health seriously and I know it’s a privilege to have that…

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Why we Need More Oral Health Providers of Color

For generations, people of color have faced barriers in accessing health and oral health care within the U.S. As recently as the 1960’s, segregated health care facilities provided sub-par care and environments for minority patients and denied physician privileges to minority doctors. To this day, neighborhood segregation is linked to poor health outcomes, lower quality of care,…

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The Interconnected Elements of a Healthy Life

When I first joined Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation I didn’t know very much about oral health. I didn’t realize that nearly one in three Colorado kindergartners and half of all Colorado third graders have had at least one cavity. I didn’t know that your oral health is connected to more than 120 chronic health issues, such…

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A 2020 Equity Timeline

What does it mean to be equitable during these times? I have wrestled with this question throughout my career, especially over the past six months. In January, I started as executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. Our mission is to elevate the well-being of all Coloradans by advancing oral health equity. To…

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