In its "Health Practitioner Oral Healthcare Workforce Ad Hoc Committee Report" released on April 1, 2009, the Florida Department of Health has echoed the Florida Dental Hygiene Association’s policy recommendations that would eliminate or reduce supervisory requirements for dental hygienists practicing in public "health access" settings in order to improve access to dental care.
"Especially during this economic crisis, in which so many people live without fundamental health care access, we are gratified to see the State of Florida recognize the urgency of delivering dental care to more people by recommending the full leveraging of professional hygienists as a trained and ready resource," said Florida Dental Hygiene Association President Paula Schad.
The Department of Health’s Oral Healthcare Workforce Ad Hoc Committee was commissioned, among its other charges, to make recommendations to Florida’s State Surgeon General that will be evaluated and incorporated into a statewide strategic plan.
Addressing dental workforce concerns also was paramount to the mission of the Committee, which recommended that the State " . . . investigate policy reform that would expand the scope of practice and eliminate or reduce supervisory requirements for dental hygienists practicing in health access settings in order to improve access to dental care."
The Florida Dental Hygiene Association is continuing ongoing collaborative efforts to develop and expand programs designed to meet the Committee’s recommendations.
To view the Florida Department of Health press release on the Report, go to: