The Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI): a successful public-private community health collaboration

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Office of Community Programs

Publication Date


Document Type



Education, Dental, Graduate; Foundations; Health Services Accessibility; Humans; Massachusetts; *Oral Health; *Public-Private Sector Partnerships; School Dentistry


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine | Primary Care


OBJECTIVES: The Central Massachusetts Oral Health Initiative (CMOHI) aimed to improve access to quality oral health care in central Massachusetts.

METHODS: A broad-based public and private organization partnership with local and national funding created a steering committee to organize school administrators, community leaders, and a medical school to collaborate on five goals: advocate for changes in oral health policy, increase oral health care access, provide school-based dental services for underserved children, establish a Dental General Practice Residency, and educate medical professionals about oral health.

RESULTS: A state legislative Oral Health Caucus helped secure sought-after policy improvements; more regional dentists now accept Medicaid; community health center capacity to provide dental services was expanded; school-based programs were designed and delivered needed dental services; a dental residency was created; and methods of educating medical professionals were established.

CONCLUSIONS: Significant sustainable gains in oral health care access were created through our multifaceted approach, ongoing evaluation and communication, coordination of CMOHI partner resources, and collaboration with other involved parties.

DOI of Published Version



J Public Health Dent. 2010 Fall;70(4):308-12. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of public health dentistry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID