In 2015, a group of Arizona oral health advocates brought together over 40 oral health professionals, representatives from community programs and regional coalitions, state officials and policy makers at a Policy Tool Workshop in Phoenix AZ to discuss opportunities, identify policy priorities and the future of oral health. This Workshop led to the development of the Arizona Oral Health Coalition (AZOHC) Steering Committee. Regional community roundtables were held in 2016 to identify local priorities and culminated in a statewide Summit in May 2017. Nearly 140 people gathered for a day of discussion and strategizing what we learned.
Following the Summit, AZOHC established five work groups involving key stakeholders and grassroots organizations: Advocacy, Teledentistry, Workforce Development, Governance & Operations, and the State Oral Health Action Plan. The work of developing an oral health plan required months of research, goal-setting, built on the knowledge, passion and spirit of its stakeholders– from oral health experts to members of the general public. With a strong sense of purpose, AZOHC plans to release The Arizona Oral Health Action Plan 2018-2021.
2018 saw the independence of the AZOHC and the transition from a lead organization model to a Leadership Council leading the way and the AZOHC being housed at The Technical Assistance Partnership of Arizona. 2019-2020 season has kicked off with brand new workgroups