As a statewide advocacy organization, COHI has earned its reputation by identifying and acting upon critical decision points that impact our oral health policy. We address the needs of all Connecticut residents but focus on the underserved. We seek broad system change that will address the inequities in the state’s oral health care policy, access to care, and the service delivery model.
For ten years, we have helped legislators understand the implications of oral health issues. The dramatic impact of oral health on primary health status becomes clearer every day. The need for good oral health care becomes an imperative we must all understand.
Our support comes from many foundations and individuals. We are grateful to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut Health Foundation; the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, and the James and Ella Burr McManus Fund of the Hartford Dental Society for their outstanding support of our work. We also thank the many individuals who have contributed generously to help us accomplish our goals.
The Connecticut Oral Health Initiative (COHI) originated from a simple concept – advocating for oral health in the public interest and educating whoever would listen that “oral health is essential to overall health”. Through strategic partnerships with community, regional and statewide organizations, COHI works to create a public conscience that results in oral health for all.
Established in 2001, COHI has contributed its resources and expertise to numerous oral health initiatives across Connecticut. We are proud of our accomplishments and those of our colleague organizations whose advocacy efforts have secured improved access to oral health for children and adults.
Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) Board of Governors approves Oral Health 2000 Committee
Oral Health 2000 charged with developing four programs: 1) Tobacco-Cessation, 2) Mouth Guard, 3) P.A.N.D.A. (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness) and 4) Early Childhood Caries
P.A.N.D.A. program dedicated committee is formed
A Tobacco-Cessation and Oral Health Conference is held with Attorney-General Richard Blumenthal as the keynote speaker
Mouth Guard Programs are initiated statewide
An Early Childhood Caries Conference is held with 160 representatives from Connecticut and other New England states
The Connecticut Health Foundation was established as a result of the Connecticare, Inc. conversion to for-profit status.
COHI is established and incorporated with major funding from Connecticut Health Foundation, as well as through donations from individuals
COHI is certified as a 501(c) (3) organization
Formation of the Oral Health Strategy Group, a coalition of professional and advocacy organizations committed to improving access to oral health care for children enrolled in HUSKY (Healthcare for Uninsured Kids and Youth)
First COHI Annual Meeting is held to honor CT Legislative Oral Health Champions
COHI was a major contributor to the multi-year effort to develop the 2007-2012 Connecticut Oral Health Improvement Plan
The settlement of a class action lawsuit (Carr vs. Wilson-Coker) resulted in improved reimbursement of dental services for HUSKY children
A Connecticut Statute enhancement established the position for a Director of the Office of Oral Health, CT Department of Public Health
Successful advocacy helped preserve CT’s adult Medicaid dental benefits
COHI is directly involved, as part of the Connecticut Coalition on Oral Health (CCOH), in implementing the next version of the Connecticut Oral Health Improvement Plan
COHI actively participates in redrafting the Connecticut Oral Health Improvement Plan 2013 - 2017
Advocates for Oral Health Equity
Leading and collaborating in statewide advocacy efforts -- harnessing its expertise, data, consumer engagement and public education -- to campaign for universal oral health coverage;
Ensuring oral health always is included when "general" health is discussed;
Forging new and creative alliances among health and educational professional organizations to promote oral health advocacy;
Acting as a primary resource for information about oral health; and
Publicizing widely oral health policy analysis and recommendations.
Mary Moran Boudreau RDH MBA
860.246-2644 extension 203
860.246.2644 extension 200