People, agencies, and funders collectively inspired to make a change.
Kent County Oral Health Coalition (KCOHC)
Why We Exist
The Kent County Oral Health Coalition exists to advocate for improved access to high quality dental services and identify community needs. We work to increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of oral health to overall health. We support the efforts of our partners and those in our community who are passionate about oral health.
Who Is Involved
The coalition is a growing body of people, agencies, and funders—collectively inspired to make a change. It 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’s mission is to improve the oral health of Kent County citizens.
KCOHC’s vision is simple – healthy teeth in every mouth.
- Increase access to oral healthcare among underserved and hard to reach populations in Kent County.
- Increase knowledge and awareness of the importance of oral health to overall health.
KCOHC in Action
- 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
- Addressing the escalating obstacle of access to hospital and ambulatory care centers for needed pediatric dental care.
- Promotion of Healthy Kids Dental Benefits and advocacy for continued coverage for youth in Michigan
Kent County Oral Health Coalition (KCOHC) Partners
We work with a wide variety of community partners to support KCOHC. A special thank you to the following organizations for the opportunity to collaborate and share resources:
- Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
- AYA Youth Collective
- Bethany Christian Services
- Baxter Holistic Clinic
- Catherine’s Health Center
- Cherry Health
- Dégagé Ministries
- Delta Dental
- Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative
- Exalta Health
- Family Futures
- Ferris State University
- First Steps Kent
- Grand Rapids Community College
- Grand Rapids Public Schools
- Great Start Parent Coalition
- GVSU Family Health Center
- Head Start for Kent County
- Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
- Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
- Kent County Department of Health and Human Services
- Kent County Health Department
- Kent Intermediate School District
- Kent School Services Network
- Mel Trotter Ministries
- Metro Health University of Michigan Health
- Michigan Oral Health Coalition
- Michigan Dental Hygienist Association
- My Community Dental Centers
- Priority Health
- Spectrum Health
- West Michigan Asian American Association
- West Michigan District Dental Society
distributed in mini grants to local organizations to implement oral health programming.
individuals in Kent County were served through mini grant programming.
worth of dental services donated during the three KCOHC sponsored free dental days at Exalta Health.
Healthy Kids Dental Promotion
The Healthy Kids Dental social media kit was designed to help community organizations and busy health professionals improve oral health access by educating about, and advocating for Healthy Kids Dental. Each social media post includes an image and suggested message.
With the partnership of the Kent County Health Department and financial support from the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement, formerly the DentaQuest Foundation, the coalition conducted an examination of the current state of oral health in Kent County, Michigan.