Regional Oral Health Coordinator
A program of the Maryland Dept. of Health, Office of Oral Health
Since 2019, AHEC West has employed the Regional Oral Health Coordinator (ROHC) for Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties. Funded through the Maryland Department of Health, Office of Oral Health under a partnership with the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, the ROHC serves as part of a centralized state-level team engaged in community outreach and network building related to promoting better oral health in Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore, and Baltimore City, all of which feature federally designated Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas.
Julie Teter, M.Ed.-Regional Oral Health Coordinator
Pathways to Bright Futures
In 2022, the ROHC initiative expanded its mission to address the shortage of dental professionals serving these three regions. The Pathways to Bright Futures program (Pathways) seeks to promote dental professions among young people living in these under-served areas. Part of a four-year initiative, Pathways includes programs to educate middle school and high school students about dental careers, provide internships and mentoring through dental offices and dental schools, and provide scholarships for those pursuing a career in dentistry.
Beyond its career-pipeline efforts, Pathways also works to develop regional oral-health training networks and training resources, assess oral health needs and gaps in the dental workforce, and promote dental-provider enrollment in Medicaid. Allegany College of Maryland, a leading academic center for dental careers in Western Maryland, is a partner in the Pathways project.
The Regional Oral Health Coordinator at AHEC West also serves on the Pathways to Bright Futures Advisory Committee, which provides guidance on the creation, implementation, and evaluation of all program elements.