Oral Health America

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Oral Health America
Type501(c)3 Non-profit Organization
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois
  • United States
President & CEO
Beth J. Truett

Oral Health America (abbreviated OHA) is a national 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization established in 1955 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. OHA connects communities with resources to increase access to care, education, and advocacy for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable.[1]

OHA has currently ceased, and does not intend to renew, active operations. The OHA Board has determined that, due largely to an unanticipated precipitous decline in contributions in the last quarter of 2018 and the unlikely renewal of sufficient contributions in the near future, OHA does not have and is not likely to have sufficient capital and reserves to continue as a going concern. OHA has therefore terminated its existing staff and is preparing documentation to implement a formal and orderly liquidation of its assets, and resolution of creditor claims, through applicable law. As part of its liquidation and final wind-down efforts, OHA is reviewing options to transition pending programs and projects to other entities which may have the financial ability to sustain or manage them; however, OHA cannot at this time guarantee that such options will be viable. As a result of the foregoing, persons or entities who intend to seek grants or other financial support from OHA, including those who have obtained such grants or financial support from OHA in the past, should seek such grants and financial support from other sources. As to persons or entities that have received pledges of financial support from OHA, please note that OHA will likely not have sufficient resources to honor such pledges and that such entities or persons will be notified in due course by appropriate authorities as to whether the proceeds of OHA’s liquidation will result in any distribution on their creditor claims against OHA. OHA deeply regrets being unable to continue with its 65-year mission, and further regrets any hardship that may ensue from its liquidation.


Smiles Across America[edit]

Founded by Oral Health America in 2004, Smiles Across America is a nationwide campaign to coordinate schools, governments, care providers, and corporate and community sponsors to fight against tooth decay. The program incorporates disease prevention and health promotion services and community organizing to create successful models for school-based or school-linked care.

Smiles Across America has provided more than $1.5 million in grant support to 15 programs operating in 47 communities in Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, Nevada, Minnesota, Maryland, Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Through Smiles Across America, Oral Health America is a partner of America’s Promise, an organization founded by Colin and Alma Powell to improve the lives of children. Oral Health America committed and succeeded in sealing 1 million teeth by 2010. Smiles Across America recently renewed its commitment to seal an additional 2 million teeth by 2020.

Medical Dental Dialogues[edit]

In 2008, the program's topic was the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic health.[2] In 2009, the symposium focused on collaborative health care for older adults [3] In May 2011, the symposium will be named "Collaborative Health Care for Diabetes: A Symposium for Creating a Medical-Dental Dialogue Among Health Care Professionals."

NSTEP (National Spit Tobacco Education Program)[edit]

NSTEP encourages young baseball players to talk to their coaches and parents about tobacco addiction and the health risks of using tobacco products, including spit and smokeless tobacco.

Each year, the NSTEP works with Little League Baseball and Softball to educate families about the risks of spit tobacco use, including oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and nicotine addiction. During the 10-Day Little League Baseball World Series, NSTEP provides tobacco and health education to baseball players and their families.[4]

Campaign for Oral Health Equity[edit]

Oral Health America's advocacy centers on bringing oral health care to people in need; in 2009, the organization worked with the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Dental Health Foundation, National Consumers League, Institute for Oral Health, and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD) to implore lawmakers to include oral health provisions in health reform legislation.[5] On October 20, 2009, Oral Health America joined 140 organizations in supporting an advertisement in Roll Call (newspaper) [6]

Wisdom Tooth Project[edit]

The Wisdom Tooth Project is Oral Health America's newest program and will employ educational and communications initiatives to inform the public of oral health's crucial link to overall health and bring care to older adults in need.[5]


External links[edit]