A strategic plan for oral health in North Dakota will be developed, thanks to a grant awarded to the North Dakota Department of Health's Oral Health Program.
The plan "will examine strengths and weaknesses in the delivery system and provide a vision for improving the delivery of oral health care to populations that have difficulty finding access to oral health care, either due to financial limitations or geographical limitations," a press release from the North Dakota Department of Health said on Jan. 17.
"The North Dakota Department of Health and our partners will be working to identify laws and policies that promote the enhanced delivery of safe and effective oral health services to those in need," said Kimberlie Yineman, director of the Oral Health Program, in the press release. "The plan created will include a component to identify and implement evidence-based approaches to oral disease prevention. It is important to implement programs and approaches that we know work and develop sustainability for those efforts."
The Department of Health will conduct surveys across rural North Dakota and on three reservations. Forums will also be held in Dickinson, Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks and Fargo. The community forum for Minot is scheduled to be held at the First District Health Unit, 801-11th Ave. SW, on March 6, at 5:30 p.m.
"We are really excited to get out into different communities where we can discuss oral health care needs in our state," Yineman said. "We need to hear from our partners and the public about the challenges they face and how we can work on overcoming those challenges."
Counties hit by floods get mental health grants
Ward County is among the recipients of a $2.54 million grant awarded by the North Dakota Department of Human Services to continue providing confidential outreach crisis counseling and emotional support to flood-impacted residents.
"People who experienced loss and distress from this summer's flooding will be able to access longer-term counseling and emotional support thanks to this new funding," said Lauren Sauer, of the Department's Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Division, in a press release issued Thursday.
The press release adds that the DHS contracts with Lutheran Disaster Response to provide crisis counseling services through Project Renew.
"Trained outreach workers go door-to-door and help individuals improve their coping strategies, and connect them with agencies and services that can assist as they recover from the disaster," the release states.
Other recipients of the grant include Barnes, Burleigh, McHenry, Morton, Ramsey, Renville, and Richland counties and the Spirit Lake Nation.
Anyone interested in contacting an outreach worker with Project Renew is encouraged to call 630-2276, or the Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services at 328-8920 or toll-free (800) 755-2719.