Secure Community Buy-In and Support

Securing community buy-in and support can take many forms, including creating a coalition of local SBHC service professionals; building relationships with key stakeholders who are knowledgeable about the program's services; educating key community champions; and/or developing and disseminating effective messages, success stories, and meaningful data.

Advocacy also plays a crucial role in securing community buy-in and support. Sharing evidence of improved oral health and overall health of enrolled students demonstrates the success and effectiveness of the SBHC. Offering open houses and inviting key stakeholders to tour the SBHC to see how oral health is integrated into primary care services can also enlighten those who are unfamiliar with the SBHC's services. These efforts may result in the development of strong oral health champions and may lead to additional in-kind and financial support.

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Action Steps

  • Formulate a communication approach and message to ensure that the local community understands that oral health is integral to overall health and well-being.
  • Promote the program and its services.
  • Use program service professionals, key stakeholders, and community champions to share your message.

Highlights from the SBCOHS Grant Program

  • Bassett Healthcare Network (NY) SBHC staff attended open houses, health fairs, sporting events, and other school-related functions and wore school colors to demonstrate that the SBHC was part of the school. Monthly tours by stakeholders who are unfamiliar with the SBHC's services often result in financial and in-kind gifts to the SBHC.
  • Health Research, Inc./New York State Department of Health (NY) adopted the school logo and advertised the SBHC as part of the school community. The SBHC also created videos to showcase its services at school-related events (School-Based Health Center and Rock Star Smiles).
  • Lemon Grove Elementary School District (CA) offered evening hours once or twice a month and established an oral health week elective for 7th- and 8th-grade students.

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