The American Dental Association, American Dental Hygienists Association, Council of State Governments and Department of Defense are working together to create model legislation for interstate licensure compacts, which would allow for reciprocity among participating states and reduce barriers to license portability and employment, according to ADA News. ADA Health Policy Institute data showed that one in 13 dentists relocated to a different state between 2015 and 2020, requiring them to spend time and money to get a new state license. A virtual kickoff meeting for the initiative is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern Time Aug. 24.
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Dental hygienist Michelle MacLean says hygienists should negotiate a range of employment terms before accepting a position, paying attention to basic pay, job hours and expectations, scheduling, increases other than pay, periodontal protocols, ergonomics and instrument maintenance. Ms. MacLean writes in DentistryIQ that the daily schedule flow is one of the most important considerations for hygienists and is a big reason why many switch jobs.
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The American Dental Hygienists' Association has named Sharlee Burch, Ph.D., a graduate professor and instructional mentor for the School of Health Sciences Master of Public Health Program at Liberty University, as its 2021-2022 president, and Dawn Ann Dean as its president-elect. West Liberty University reported that Ms. Dean is an alumna of the Sarah Whitaker Glass School of Dental Hygiene and is on the ADHA Institute for Oral Health Board of Directors.
Dentists and dental students are providing free dental care and COVID-19 vaccinations to veterans at the St. Louis Dental Center in Missouri, which was formed through a partnership between A.T. Still University and Affinia Healthcare, KTVI-TV reported. The program offers screenings and treatments, including dentures and partial dentures, at no cost and is funded by grants and donations, said dental hygienist Patty Inks, dental coordinator at A.T. Still University.
The Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes in Montana declared a health emergency to highlight the shortage of dental care on the reservation and open a dialogue with the Indian Health Service, the Billings Gazette reported. Tribal Executive Board member Alex Smith said many tribal members are referred to Billings for dental care and cannot afford the cost of the trip. Almost 85% of Native American children in Montana had tooth decay, according to a 2020 report from the state Department of Public Health and Human Services.
Contemporary Pediatrics reported that data from the 2016-18 National Survey of Children's Health showed 84% of children with special health care needs had received a preventive dental visit in the past year, compared with 78% of those who did not have special health care needs. The study, published in Pediatrics, while finding that children with special health care needs did receive preventive care more often than children with special needs, also found children with special health care needs had higher rates of oral health problems.
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that all of its 115,000 health care workers dealing directly with patients will be required to get a COVID-19 vaccine within the next eight weeks, making it the first federal agency to mandate vaccination for its employees, The New York Times reported. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough said the move is intended to ensure the safety of veterans and expressed concern about infections among staff at several VA health care centers that resulted in staff shortages and forced the VA to implement emergency measures in some cases.
California issued a new rule, to take effect in August, that will require state employees, health care providers and facilities, and workers in congregate settings to provide verification of their COVID-19 vaccination status or face mandatory periodic COVID-19 testing, according to CNBC and KTLA-TV of Los Angeles. The state also will require unvaccinated workers at outpatient facilities, such as dental offices, to wear masks and get tested for COVID-19 weekly. The rule was implemented in response to an increase in COVID-19 infections, with a majority of cases involving unvaccinated people, according to officials.
A survey by the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health found that 39% of parents of youths ages 12 to 18 said their child had already received a COVID-19 vaccine, 21% said that it is likely their child will get a vaccine, while 40% said they were unlikely to get a vaccine, HealthDay News reported. The survey, involving over 2,000 parents, also showed that 38% of parents with low incomes said their child is likely to get a vaccine, compared with 60% of those with higher incomes.
The number of influenza cases in the US during the 2020-2021 flu season fell to the lowest level since the CDC started tracking the metric in 1997, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Fewer than 1% of more than 1.1 million specimens obtained from patients with influenza-like symptoms tested positive for flu between October 2020 and May 2021, and the agency attributes the decline to COVID-19 prevention measures, United Press International reported.
A clinical trial launched in March to assess Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 will be expanded "to enroll a larger safety database which increases the likelihood of detecting rarer events," said Moderna spokesman Ray Jordan, who added that the company could seek emergency authorization later this year or early in 2022, CNBC and The New York Times reported. The FDA had recently requested that Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech expand the number of children in the 5-to-11-year-old cohort, sources say.
Breathing exercises that can help people relax and reduce stress include basic deep breathing, alternate nostril breathing, fist pump breaths, skull shining breathing and breath meditation, yoga instructor and health coach Stephanie Mansour wrote in a CNN column. "Having a moment of mindfulness with breathwork at the beginning of the day can help add consistency and structure to your routine," Ms. Mansour said.