Kent County Oral Health Coalition (KCOHC)

About The Coalition:

Established in 2011, The Kent County Oral Health Coalition is a growing and collaborative partnership of people and organizations who believe that change is needed to improve the oral health of Kent County residents, particularly those who have limited access to care.

Why We Exist:

Kent County is considered to be a premiere place to live and raise a family. A spirit of innovation abounds—and we are not a community to wait on the bureaucracies of state government to solve pressing local issues. The coalition is a growing body of people, agencies and funders—collectively inspired to make a change.

Who Is Involved:

The Coalition was convened by First Steps, a Kent County nonprofit organization working to strengthen and coordinate services that improve the health and school readiness of young children in Kent County. In addition to numerous other local professionals, dental health and primary care clinicians, managed care organizations, hospitals, nonprofits and businesses,the list of community partners continues to grow.

KCOHC Mission and Vision

Mission: Improve the oral health of Kent County citizens
Vision: Healthy teeth in every mouth 

The coalition has established two goals for the Kent County community:

  1. Increase access to oral health care among under-served and hard to reach populations
  2. Increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of of oral health to overall health 

KCOHC in Action:

  • Actively participating in the nationwide DentaQuest Foundation Oral Health 2020 network
  • Improving the community's knowledge and understanding of oral health with the use of the Rethink Your Drink curriculum
  • Enhancing community connections and community representation through the KCOHC Mini-Grant Program 
  • Advocating for an improved adult dental benefit in Michigan's Medicaid coverage
  • Surveying the community oral health landscape and compiling findings and data related to oral health in the Kent County Oral Health Exam 
  • Advancing health equity by educating the community on oral health as a social justice issue

Getting Involved:

As members of the coalition, we recognize that sustainable change is a long-term process requiring true collaboration between the private and public sector. Our intent is to continue growing the collaborative with the people and agencies inspired to make grassroots change.

Join us!

We invite you to join our work by contacting Shannon Kaza, Oral Health Coordinator at Health Net of West Michigan. Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (616) 632-1008.