New Mexico community voices: Policy reform to reduce oral health disparities

Wayne Powell, Christine Hollis, Mario De La Rosa, Deborah L. Helitzer, Daniel Derksen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Using a socio-ecological framework to guide the initiative, New Mexico Community Voices developed, with state and local stakeholders, responsive oral health policies to address oral health disparities. Several policy objectives were achieved: increasing awareness of the public health importance of oral health; improving access to dental services for uninsured or underserved populations; enhancing dental services specialty care; and increasing sustainable oral health infrastructure through pipeline development of oral health providers to relieve service shortages and diversify the oral health workforce. Improving access to oral health and augmenting numbers of dental providers in rural areas were also successful. The governor has appointed the New Mexico Oral Health Advisory Council to address state oral health issues. The New Mexico partnerships have demonstrated how effective policy change can generate important incremental shifts in oral health care delivery and provide best practice models that diminish the oral health crisis faced by underserved populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Community health planning
  • Community health services
  • Health care reform
  • Health policy
  • Health services accessibility
  • Medically underserved area
  • Oral health
  • Rural health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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