In 2016, nearly 100,000 Wisconsin children ages 0-5 who were enrolled in Medicaid visited a physician but did not see a dentist. The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin awarded the Wisconsin Medical Dental Integration (MDI) partnership more than $500,000 over three years to make oral health services at well-care exams the standard of care. Target populations include children 0-5 years and pregnant women. The Alliance will be the lead community partner working to integrate dental hygienists into primary medical care teams. Dr. Earnestine Willis and Dr. Constance Gundacker of the Medical College of Wisconsin will serve as primary investigators and lead the evaluation of the project.

Organizational partners include the American Academy of Pediatrics – Wisconsin Chapter, Wisconsin Dental Association, Wisconsin Dental Hygienists’ Association and Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association.

Clinical system partners include Ascension Wisconsin, American Family Children’s Hospital, Aurora Advocate Health Care, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Gundersen Health, St. Vincent, Northlakes Community Health Center and Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers.

The Wisconsin MDI project will focus on using quality improvement methods to ensure success during the implementation phase. The goal is to integrate dental hygienists in at least 15 clinics by the end of the grant. For more information, please contact Matt Crespin.