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About the DPOH

          The Division of Population Oral Health is administratively located within the Department of Stomatology in the College of Dental Medicine at MUSC. There is a combined experience of public health, health services, translational and clinical scientists dedicated to improving oral health for underserved populations through its four responsibilities.

Since its inception at MUSC in 2014, the DPOH has been awarded over $4.6 million for interprofessional training, research, and service from federal, philanthropic, and corporate partners. Funding supports a project portfolio that addresses rural, oral health disparities.

Faculty and Staff Contacts

DPOH Responsibilities

  1. Enhance public health learning experiences for dental students
  2. Conduct health services and population-health research
  3. Develop service and outreach programs that improve access to care for vulnerable South Carolinians
  4. Assist with translation of clinical oral health research for safety net practice

History & Impact

The DPOH, along with the South Carolina Rural Health Research Center at the Univeristy of South Carolina, have been working to address rural oral health equity since 2012. Here is a summary of the community impact by congressional district.

  • Strengthening the Rural Dental Safety Net - (2012 to present) Improve rural access to dental care through increased efficiencies and capacity growth. Technical assistance was provided to Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Dental Programs by DentaQuest Institute's Safety Net Solutions. A core partner on the project was the SC Primary Health Care Association.

  • Rural Community Water Flouridation Advocacy and Improvements - (2012 to 2015) Improve or continue access to optimally flouridated water in seven rural communities. These areas were at risk for losing their community water flouridation due to failing equipment. We provided advocacy training to local pediatricians, dentists, water system operators, and early childhood development programs (e.g. Head Start or First Steps). SC Dental Association and SC Department of Environmental Control were core partners on this project.

  • ROADS - (2015 to present) Improve access to and quality of care through innovative integration models of primary care and oral health providers. We work with Rural Health Clinics and community dentists in three markets: Rock Hill/York, Fairfield/Blythewood, Orangeburg/Santee. SC Dental Association and SC Office of Rural Health are core partners on this project.

 Service Area  Congressional Districts  Safety Net Impact  Water Flouridation Impact*  ROADS Impact* 
  1, 6  $45,000
7,500 residents
  -----  ----- 
  7  $45,000
5,640 residents
(Horry only)
45,000 residents (Georgetown only)
 Sumter  6  $45,000
5,000 residents
  -----  ----- 
  2, 5  $45,000
2,630 residents
  -----  $280,000
200 to 2,000 residents (Fairfield only)
 Orangeburg  2, 6  $45,000
1,900 residents
  -----  $280,000
200 to 2,000 residents
  7  -----  $115,294
141,587 residents
 Spartanburg  4  -----  $37,650
180,000 residents
 York  5  -----  -----  $290,000
200 to 2,000 residents

Funds directly spent in the community at medical and dental practices and water systems.

DPOH Contact Information

Contact Us

173 Ashley Avenue, BSB 127
PO Box 250507Charleston, South Carolina 29425

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