Over the course of 2020, Community Catalyst embarked on a research project in collaboration with the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health. We examined how to strengthen advocacy to more effectively promote equity and meet the oral health needs of marginalized communities. Overall, this project found that oral health advocates, community-based organizations (CBOs) and funders alike view fixing our failing oral health delivery system as an equity issue, providing significant common ground for change. In addition, by virtue of their financial resources, results showed that funders play a significant role in elevating awareness and ensuring oral health is a priority issue on the local, state and national levels. Finally, the results spoke to the need for strong partnerships among stakeholders, and a collaborative, intentional process to build momentum to advance longer-term policy change.
This report will outline the in-depth findings of this project and offer recommendations for funders, advocates, and other key stakeholders to strengthen and expand oral health advocacy that is equity informed and that includes community engagement as a core component.