Child getting oral exam from dentistA true partnership
to benefit young children

Since ABCD’s inception in 1995, the percentage of Apple Health- eligible (Medicaid) children birth to six who receive dental care has more than doubled from 21 to 52.1 percent. These outstanding results come from the combined efforts of many partners, including:

The Health Care Authority, Washington’s Apple Health (Medicaid) program administrator, funds ABCD training through the University of Washington, provides enhanced reimbursement for participating ABCD-certified dentists, and funds local programs in: 1) outreach to families and case management to ensure that the connection to care is made and maintained and 2) assisting and supporting dental offices in working with the Apple Health Program and with clients. HCA is a member of the state level partnership which provides oversight to the ABCD Program.

University of Washington School of Dentistry trains and certifies providers in early pediatric dental techniques, develops the training curriculum, provides ongoing provider education, appoints and supports the ABCD dental champions, and is a member of the state level oversight group for ABCD.

Washington Dental Service Foundation manages the ABCD Program partnership at the state level on behalf of the state partners. From 1999 through 2014, the foundation provided three-year local program start-up grants. Today, the foundation provides ongoing technical assistance to the local programs along with program evaluation.  Washington Dental Service Foundation, funded by Delta Dental of Washington, is dedicated to improving the oral and overall health of Washington’s young children.

Washington State Dental Association supports and encourages participation by the local dental community in ABCD and participates in state-level management of the program.

ABCD Programs that are county or regionally based are managed by a local health jurisdiction or other local organization that helps low-income families access health care programs and works with the dental champion and dental society to recruit, train and support ABCD dentists. Together with community partners, they identify and reach out to families with children in need of ABCD services and provide assistance in overcoming any barriers to connecting children to dental care.

The Washington Department of Health WIC Nutrition Program. The state and local WIC programs are key partners in identifying families with ABCD-eligible children. The Department of Health also shares best-practices research.

Dental champions work with the local ABCD program to identify, recruit, train and mentor local dentists who participate in ABCD. Dental champions are selected and trained by the University of Washington, work closely with local ABCD program leadership and often participate in the local ABCD Steering Committee.

Local Dental Societies generate initial interest and participation in the program and sponsor ABCD informational meetings with local dentists.

Community partners including local Head Start, Early Head Start and Women, Infant and Children (WIC), Community Action and United Way organizations identify and refer eligible ABCD families to the local ABCD program.