As we near the end of 2020 and we start preparing for the new year, we have exciting campaigns to highlight and next steps to share with you. SCOPE and our grassroots members are embarking on a campaign to build power, advance equity, and improve health outcomes in the oral healthcare field!
Oral health is critical to overall health as an unhealthy mouth increases risk of diseases, such as heart problems, diabetes and strokes. Poor oral health can negatively impact opportunities in education and employment, economic security and further health disparities.
Access to oral healthcare is more than just having a dentist office in your neighborhood.
Although we might see many dental offices in South Los Angeles, there are still several barriers to accessing oral healthcare. These barriers include high costs, lack of trust and connection with service providers, and simply, fear.
SCOPE has been talking to community members who have been historically excluded from access to care to understand systemic barriers and to begin creating a plan to change that.
Prioritizing economic justice and health equity
We are partnering with organizations representing Indigenous, Black and Communities of Color across California to explore changes to the oral healthcare system that prioritize economic justice and health equity. We know that when systems are shaped by and representative of our communities, they are more accessible and trusted. And our initial community-based survey (conducted 2016) data shows that barriers to employment and barriers to care go hand in hand. We believe that creating pathways to good jobs in the oral healthcare field will expand equitable access to care.
When our community is employed in the oral healthcare sector, our community can receive affordable and culturally accessible care, leading to increased likelihood of improved health outcomes. An accessible oral healthcare system means having a system that we can trust. We want to understand what a trusted oral healthcare system means to you.
The solution lies within our communities.
While we have heard some of the barriers to accessing oral health, we need to ensure the solutions meet the needs of all our communities. We need to understand all our experiences to be able to shape a system that works for us.
To create a comprehensive plan that directly changes the systemic barriers, we need to learn of and hear more experiences like yours. You can share your stories when attempting to access oral healthcare when you visit our page. Go to our new webpage to read our members’ stories and share your story today!