Monday Roundtable Luncheon
On January 8th, 2018, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Oral Health Program (LAC DPH OHP) received grant funding to meet the objectives laid out in the California State Oral Health Plan. The funding is made available through Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tax Act of 2016. This funding will allow the Oral Health Program to establish infrastructure and build the capacity to address the oral health needs of LAC residents. Activities include engaging oral health stakeholders, conducting needs assessment surveys, increasing the number of sealants placed on elementary school aged children, amongst other objectives. Balancing multiple grant objectives, such as investing in infrastructure and hiring personnel, is a challenging task especially when staff salary and benefits are the costliest category in the grant budget.
The LAC DPH OHP has contracted with several local community agencies to carry out some of the grant deliverables, such as the Oral Health Strategic Plan for Los Angeles County and the Children’s Oral Health Needs Assessment which aims to survey 14,000 children. The OHP has also hired dentists, program analysts, and health educators to oversee, provide expertise, and ensure implementation of Prop 56 objectives.
The LAC DPH OHP balanced hiring permanent staff to lead the grant deliverables with utilizing local community agencies to achieve the grant objectives. In doing so, OHP was able to build the program infrastructure utilizing less than 40% of grant funding allowing for the remainder of funds to be used to meet the objectives.