Region A

Pre-Meeting and SORH Regional Partnership Meeting | 2021

The Rural/ Oral Connection in Pennsylvania: Access and Workforce Planning

The PA Coalition for Oral Health is a statewide coalition that focuses on improving the oral health of all Pennsylvanians. PA is a state with a large rural population, both in numbers and geographic areas. The issues of dental care access and workforce availability affect the rural population disproportionately. This presentation will discuss the oral health workforce issues faced in PA, including the predicted inflows and outflows of dental staff within rural areas. Possible ideas of future workforce integration in rural communities will also be discussed.

Water Fluoridation Project

This session focuses on the work being done in regards to the importance of fluoride in drinking water. Rural areas can be oral health deserts, and ensuring that drinking water is fluorinated is important for oral health. Important steps are being taken to ensure that standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water continue to protect consumers while promoting good dental health, especially in children.


This session tackles four main issues:

1. What new, unforeseen opportunity has your SORH taken advantage of? What are you accomplishing? Who are you are partnering with to get it done?
2. What are your challenges, plans, or wins in addressing rural broadband?
3. How is your SORH partnering with emergency preparedness and disaster response stakeholders?
4. What resources does your SORH use/need to promote diversity and inclusion in rural communities?

Optimizing Collaboration Between SORHs, FORHP, and RHIhub

SORHs and the RHIhub are key partners in ensuring that rural communities and healthcare stakeholders have access to the information that can help them maintain services and improve population health. This discussion between RHIhub, SORHs, and FORHP will brainstorm ways that RHIhub and SORHs can more effectively work together to meet the information needs of our rural stakeholders, share promising practices across the nation, and highlight the great work taking place in each state. There will be an opportunity to provide feedback to RHIhub about the products and services it provides, information gaps that might exist, as well as proposed state-level infographics.

Rural Providers Experience and Usage of CDC Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Guideline

In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an evidence-based guideline on pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) to educate health care providers on best practices of mTBI diagnosis, prognosis, and management/treatment. As residents living in rural areas have higher rates of mTBI, and may have limited access to care, it is particularly important to disseminate the CDC guideline to rural health care providers. The purpose of this presentation is to describe rural health care providers’ experience with pediatric mTBI patients and their perceptions on incorporating the guideline recommendations into their practice.