The Oral Health Institute (OHI) was established in 2005 with the objective of creating and evaluating training programs that will teach Head Start parents how to best manage the dental health needs of their children. Dr. Ariella Herman, Senior Lecturer at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, is the research director of the Oral Health Institute. Through her studies, she found that many Head Start parents are oftentimes misinformed on several dimensions of their children’s dental health and possess little time and means to become better educated about the dental health care needs of their children. Coupled with soaring dental health care costs and rising Medicaid spending contributing to the health care crisis in the United States, UCLA Anderson launched this nationwide dental healthcare training program to help alleviate some of these issues.
The objectives of the Oral Health Institute are:
- To provide training and information to participating Head Start agencies for the successful implementation of dental health care literacy programs to their families.
- To enable Head Start parents to become better caregivers to their children by improving their dental health care knowledge and parenting skills.
- To empower Head Start parents to become better-informed decision makers for the dental health care needs of their children.
- To enhance the self esteem and confidence of the Head Start parents in meeting their parental objectives.
The OHI’s methodologies of training have been proven to make valuable, long-term differences in the lives of families! The best part about the training methods is that they can be individualized and customized to meet the needs and learning styles of the parents/families that you work with. In addition, the methods are culturally sensitive and allow for the inclusion of strategies and “fun” activities that will ensure persons of all cultures and ethnicities are fully engaged in the learning process.