How You Can Participate in the Fourth Annual Rural Oral Health Conference
Save the date! Zufall Health’s dental department will host virtually the Fourth Annual Rural Oral Health Conference on Friday, November 18, 2022 in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Health. The theme is “Diversity and Inclusion: Addressing the Needs of Marginalized Populations in Rural Communities.” Although the conference is still a few months away, it’s not too early to mark your calendar for the event! Zufall also welcomes commitments from speakers or sponsors at this time.
What is the Rural Oral Health Conference?
The Rural Oral Health Conference (ROHC) is Zufall’s day-long continuing education (CE) event held in honor of National Rural Health Day, which the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health designates as the third Thursday of November each year. Dental, medical, and public health credits are available to qualifying attendees. The symposium features individual presentations, panel discussions, and Q&A sessions addressing the unique challenges affecting dental care in rural communities, a population of significant interest to Zufall’s clinical operations in rural New Jersey counties Hunterdon, Sussex, and Warren.
“The National Advisory Committee on Rural Health & Human Services identified several factors that contribute to the problems of accessing dental care in Rural America,” said Paul Moore, D.Ph., former Senior Health Policy Advisor at the Human Resources and Services Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health in his 2021 ROHC keynote presentation. These barriers are geographic isolation, inadequate transportation, a higher rate of poverty compared to metropolitan areas, a large elderly population with limited dental insurance coverage, acute provider shortages, a scarcity of providers willing to treat Medicaid recipients, a lack of fluoridated community water, and poor oral health education.
A Virtual Advantage
The ROHC originated as a face-to-face Warren County Community College in Washington, NJ in 2019. The pandemic required the conference to migrate to Zoom in 2020 and beyond, and this change has been overwhelmingly beneficial.
“Through Zoom, we have the opportunity for our expert speakers located anywhere in the country to educate a greater number of health care professionals,” said Sam Wakim, DMD, MPH, Chief Dental Officer of Zufall Health. “We attracted more than 200 registrants in 2021 and, as our reach grows, I look forward to the innovative initiatives our learners will develop to better serve rural residents’ dental health.”
How to Participate
Speak: Zufall welcomes U.S.-based experts in dentistry, public health, and health policy to deliver presentations on proposed rural oral health topics.
If you are interested in speaking either individually or on a panel, please contact Sam Wakim, DMD, MPH, at (973) 328-9100, ext. 1316.
Sponsor: As a federally qualified health center and 501c3 nonprofit, Zufall relies largely on generosity of private entities, including corporations and foundations, to provide high-quality, affordable health care and to conduct free events such as the ROHC.
If your business or organization wishes to sponsor the ROHC at any level, please contact Shade Cronan, Foundation Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Explore the highlights of ROHC 2021: We have compiled the speaker information, sponsors, presentation slides, and video recordings from last year’s conference here: https://www.zufallhealth.org/resources-rohc-2021.
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