Principal Investigator: David Quissell, PhD
Preventing Caries in Preschoolers: Testing a Unique Service Delivery Model in American Indian Head Start Programs
As an intervention RC2 is focused on strategies for placing powerful disease prevention information and tools in the hands of the community. The strength of systems for tribal health and child care support this project based in the Tribal Head Start program. Skill and capacity building efforts will be shared among community members to develop a cadre of Community Oral Health Specialists who will work proactively in their local Head Start centers on a Southwestern American Indian reservation to deliver health promotion and dental disease prevention services. The demonstration project will implement and evaluate the Community Oral Health Specialists’ delivery of fluoride varnish and oral health promotion when compared to usual care modalities. Oral health disparities are addressed as we work together to identify and confront the ‘real world’ issues challenging our partners in reservation communities. Oral health indicators for children in these Head Start Centers will be compared with those of children in comparable Centers receiving usual approaches to caries prevention.