Bringing Oral Health to the Forefront of Health Care through Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

By Bertha Olivia Alarcon, Effuah Harris, Josih Hostetler, MSW, Timothy Martinez, Elizabeth Maugh, Yawen Peng and Jenny Tjahjono.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 12, 2016 $US5.00

Most dental conditions are largely preventable through oral care practices and acquired healthy habits. The World Health Organization (WHO) indicated that when multiple healthcare professionals work together with patients, families, and communities, they can deliver a higher quality of care. Primary Care Providers (PCP) such as physicians, nurses, and physician assistants, are often the patient’s first and only point of entry into the health care system. Many medical conditions have oral manifestations and numerous systemic conditions affect the oral health adversely. Therefore there is a need for PCP to receive more experiences regarding oral health and inversely, dental professionals should also expand their scope of knowledge to screen for chronic systemic diseases. This model of PCP and dental professional working together may result in the delivery of high quality health care, inclusive of oral health. Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) is the forerunner for Interprofessional Education with the unique structure of graduate students from nine healthcare colleges. WesternU College of Dental Medicine (WesternU CDM) has developed an innovative Interprofessional Collaborative Practice curriculum to integrate oral health education for students from the College of Graduate Nursing, College of Allied Health Professionals, Physician Assistant Program, and Family Medicine Residents at the Pomona Valley Medical Center.

Keywords: Oral Health, Primary Care Providers, Interprofessional Education, Interprofessional Collaborative Practice

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2016, pp.87-97. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 12, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.034MB)).

Dr. Bertha Olivia Alarcon

Assistant Professor, Clinical Managing Partner, College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences - Pomona, Pomona, California, USA

Dr. Effuah Harris

Assistant Professor, Team Leader Faculty, College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, USA

Josih Hostetler, MSW

Director of Community Outreach for the College of Dental Medicine, Community Outreach, Western University of Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, Pomona, California, USA

Dr. Timothy Martinez

Associate Dean For Community Partnerships and Access to Care, Assistant Professor, College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, USA

Elizabeth Maugh

Instructor/ PA Education CAHP Community Liaison, College of Allied Health Professions, Department of Physician Assistant Education, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, USA

Dr. Yawen Peng

Assistant Professor, Pediatric Dentist, College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, USA

Dr. Jenny Tjahjono

Assistant Professor, CBDE Clinical Managing Partner, College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California, USA