As oral health issues have plagued those in rural communities - this initiative is designed to enhance the access to quality oral health care for all, while connecting groups to the resources they need to help patients.

NRHA has released the association 2020 Compendium of Rural Health Best Practices. The compendium contains best practices in programs, models, and policies aimed at enhancing access to quality rural oral health care. The NRHA previously released the 2017 Compendium of Rural Oral Health Best Practices.

The specific purpose of the National Rural Oral Health Initiative is to provide guidance on rural oral health care with the intent to establish oral health care as part of primary care, thereby increasing health care access for all rural Americans.

The initiative is focused on:

  • Policy: Development of a special rural oral health interest group to provide policy recommendations/analysis that target legislative and regulatory barriers.
  • Communications: Disseminate rural oral health information and a compendium of best practices via NRHA.
  • Education: Integrate rural oral health-related tracks within NRHA conferences, rural community health worker training, and within strategies utilized by state rural health associations.
  • Research: Advance rural oral health-related research and policy.

Resources and Information

National Rural Oral Health Initiative Resources

Oral Health State of your State


CareQuest Institute for Oral Health
The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health is a national nonprofit championing a more equitable future where every person can reach their full potential through optimal health. They operate as a catalyst for systems change, bringing forth ideas and solutions to create a more accessible, equitable, and integrated health system for everyone. The CareQuest Institute for Oral Health is passionate about and committed to revolutionizing oral health to create an effective and equitable system that results in improved oral health and well-being for everyone.

OPEN Network:
The Oral Health Progress and Equity Network is a free membership group that helps communities report and gain access to oral health information. The groups goals are to build a comprehensive national oral health measurement system, integrate oral health into person centered health care, and improve the overall perception of oral health care. The OPEN Network is dedicated to being change agents and wants to bring attention to the oral health disparities in rural communities:

You can sign up to be a part of their community here.
For more information, contact Zil Joyce Dixon Romero, Piper Martin, or Laura Hudson.

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