The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, a tribal organization representing all 43 federally recognized tribes in the Portland Area (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho), is requesting $250,000 annually, for the five-year grant period, to administer the Northwest Tribal Dental Support Center (NTDSC). The NTDSC has demonstrated its ability to provide an effective and efficient dental support center, improving the oral health of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people, and meeting or exceeding all previous objectives during the past 20 years.
NTDSC will focus on two priority goals:
1) provide training, quality improvement, and technical assistance to the IHS/Tribal dental programs within the Portland Area and
2) ensure that the services of the NTDSC result in measurable improvement in the oral health status of the AI/AN people served in the Portland Area.
NTDSC will optimize the combined resources and infrastructure of Indian Health Service (IHS) Headquarters and IHS Portland Area to work towards these goals. NTDSC will collaborate with both the IHS Area Dental Consultant and the Native Dental Therapy Initiative (NDTI) Director to assure that our services complement each other.
NTDSC is proposing four broad objectives and 16 measurable sub-objectives to improve the oral health of the AI/AN population and address the needs of the dental programs in the Portland Area. The four broad objectives are:
1) assist with the implementation of an oral health surveillance system to monitor oral health status, 2) ensure quality and efficiency of care and implementation of public health principles to improve dental access and oral health outcomes,
3) expand and support prevention and early intervention programs in high-risk groups, and
4) provide continuing dental education to all Portland Area dental staff. The objectives and activities will positively impact progress towards meeting or exceeding the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) objectives and working towards reducing oral health disparities between AI/AN and U.S. all populations.
All 36 dental programs in the Portland Area will have access to services provided by the NTDSC. NTDSC is staffed by a project director, clinical consultant, and prevention consultant. The staff and consultants have vast collective experience with IHS and tribal dental programs and will continue to work with the dental support center.
The activities of the NTDSC will be supported through communication with local dental programs via on-site program reviews, weekly email updates, email and telephone consultation, webinar conference meetings and trainings, NTDSC webpage, annual Portland Area Dental Meeting, and ongoing training and technical assistance. NTDSC will work with IHS Headquarters by participating in national IHS special initiatives, promotion of GPRA objectives, presentations at national meetings, and collaboration with other dental support centers. All objectives will be evaluated using a combination of process and outcome evaluation techniques.