Idaho’s first oral health workforce assessment was prepared by WIM Tracking, LLC under contract with the Idaho Oral Health Program (IOHP), Bureau of Community and Environmental Health, Division of Public Health of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The assessment was initiated to identify the current oral health workforce and to promote future discussions on areas of improvement, strategies for continued successes, and how the oral health workforce can serve the oral health needs of all Idahoans. The report is designed to function as a reference for state leaders, policy makers, workforce planners, and future analysis. The presentation will provide an overview of the quantitative and qualitative data used to evaluate the supply and distribution of the oral health workforce, the workforce capacity for the underserved, and workforce projections. Assessment findings indicate the supply and distribution of the oral health workforce is disproportionate as it relates to the geographically isolated and traditionally underserved. Within the assessment, Medicaid members, residents of long-term care, refugees and persons re-entering society after incarceration were identified by key informants as populations experiencing the greatest barriers in access to care. Through the quantitative data analysis, counties were identified as experiencing the lowest concentration of dentists, highest concentration of dentists nearing retirement, and greatest travel time for Medicaid members. The presentation will review how Idaho Stakeholders are currently working to address these issues through innovative, targeted collaborations and extensive community outreach programs; and how they can utilize the assessment findings to further these initiatives. Workforce projections as defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and opportunities for workforce advancement through medical-dental integration, teledentistry, and utilization of dental hygienists and community health dental coordinators will be reviewed. It is with optimism, that the presentation will inspire conversations among stakeholders to continue to collaborate to innovatively improve the oral health workforce.
• Objective 1: Describe the supply and distribution of Idaho’s current oral health workforce through the review of quantitative data inclusive of Idaho state licensure data, Medicaid claims data, American Dental Association, Idaho State Dental Association, and a survey of Idaho dentists, dental hygienists, and physicians.
• Objective 2: Outline the capacity of Idaho’s oral health workforce to meet the needs of the underserved.
• Objective 3: Describe the future of Idaho’s oral health workforce based on workforce projections and opportunities to expand the current workforce.
• Objective 4: Present insight into key informant perspectives as gathered through a qualitative data collection inclusive of 21 key informant interviews centered around three workforce-related themes: supply and distribution, recruitment and retention, and challenges and opportunities.
• Objective 5: Identify how targeted workforce planning efforts can enhance the oral health workforce.
Jena is the Founder and CEO of WIM Tracking, a regional health workforce information service provider. Jena assists state agencies, educational institutions, researchers, and non-profits with the collection and organization of health workforce data.
Prior to pursuing her entrepreneurial aspirations Jena served as the Communications, IT, and Database Manager for the Montana Medical Association, a physician’s advocacy group. She deployed initiatives such as the Know Your Does campaign, a program centered on physician continuing education amidst the opioid crisis. Her time with the Montana Medical Association brought a need to her attention, that was the need for a centralized health workforce data management system and an organization devoted to the maintenance, accessibility, and practicality of such information.
In 2016, Jena deployed WIM Tracking. Since then, she has been a contractor for the State of Montana’s Primary Care Office managing the provider data portal for primary care, dental, and mental health HPSA designations. In recent years she completed workforce assessments in Montana surrounding the oral healthcare and behavioral healthcare workforce. Through the WIM Tracking workforce information program, Jena has been monitoring the dentist workforce in Idaho since 2017. In the fall of 2020, Jena began working with the Idaho Oral Health Program to support the development of Idaho’s first oral health workforce assessment. She is here today to provide an overview of the assessment and discuss key findings.