Who We Are
In 2000, the U.S. Surgeon General's Report, Oral Health in America, served as a call to
action for all health professions to play a role in reducing the burden of oral disease in America. Over a decade later, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports, Advancing Oral Health in America and Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations, reinforced the importance of oral health and highlighted the centrality of the nursing profession in improving oral health outcomes.One of the IOM recommendations was to invest in "workforce innovations to improve oral health that focus on core competency development, education and training, to allow for the use of all health care professionals in oral health care". The IOM Committee's vision for oral health care in the United States, "everyone has access to quality oral health care across the life cycle", is perfectly aligned with the New York University College of Nursing's Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) initiative.
The OHNEP program is part of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH) (www.niioh.org). NIIOH is a national effort to increase oral health in education and practice of primary care clinicians, jointly funded by the CareQuest Foundation, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and the REACH Healthcare Foundation. As the Nursing “arm” of the NIIOH, OHNEP leaders are prominent nationally in nursing and interprofessional circles, addressing the opportunity for the nursing profession to be a “new partner in prevention” along with other oral health champions from Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Physician Assistant and the Dental Profession.
We Are The Oral Health Safety Net
“Lack of oral health care contributes to profound and enduring oral health disparities in the United States. (Our interprofessional initiative) strives to improve access for early detection and preventive interventions by expanding oral health clinical competency of …frontline primary care health professionals, specifically nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physicians and physician assistants.”
2014 report of the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration’s initiative on Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice
Dr. Judith Haber is the Executive Director of a national nursing oral health initiative, The Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) program funded by the CareQuest Institute. She is also the Principal Investigator of the HRSA funded Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH) Program whose goal is to develop a model curriculum to promote an interprofessional, team-based approach to oral-systemic health promotion and disease prevention in primary care settings. She has played a leadership role in promoting an interprofessional oral health agenda at NYUCN and NYUCD. Dr. Haber is the Co-Chair of the NYU Interprofessional Research, Education, and Practice Steering Committee. She is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH) and was a member of the HRSA Expert Panel developing Core Interprofessional Oral Health Competencies for Primary Care Providers.
Jessamin Cipollina, MA, is the OHNEP Program Manager. Jessamin received her Master of Arts degree in Human Development and Social Intervention from New York University, and she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Art from Pace University. In her time with OHNEP, she has contributed to several peer-reviewed publications on interprofessional education and oral health integration. She has also presented widely on oral-systemic issues and health equity. Jessamin is a Lever Lead and NRT Member with the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network (OPEN). She is also the author of OHNEP's blog All 4 Oral Health which publishes relevant and timely pieces on oral-systemic topics. Jessamin's professional background reflects many research interests including global health equity, oral-systemic health awareness, violence and trauma, LGBTQIA+ identity and issues, and mental health awareness.