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AACOM Endorses Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum

On April 12, 2016, AACOM announced its official endorsement of Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum. A product of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM), Smiles for Life (SFL) provides educational resources to ensure the integration of oral health and primary care.

2016 AACOM DC-362Funded by the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH), the SFL curriculum was first released in 2005 and is now available in an interactive online third edition. Smiles for Life is the nation’s most comprehensive and widely-used oral health curriculum specifically designed by and for primary care clinicians.

Through collaboration with the NIIOH, AACOM is now pleased to provide Smiles for Life curriculum as a free continuing medical education (CME) opportunity for osteopathic medical students, educators, and physicians. The SFL curriculum is suitable for up to 8.50 Prescribed credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and is accepted by the American Medical Association (AMA) as equivalent to AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Access the SFL downloadable modules in the Curriculum Content section of the AACOM website.

“Oral health is a key component of overall health. We are pleased to provide an opportunity for osteopathic physicians and educators to learn to promote oral health as an integral part of primary medical care and collaborative practice,” said Melinda Clark, MD, Editor of Smiles for Life.

Aligned with AACOM’s mission to support interprofessional collaboration, the Association joins fifteen other health professions organizations in its endorsement of Smiles for Life.

“The U.S. primary care delivery system is in the midst of a transformation, striving to provide more patient-centered and value-oriented care,” said AACOM President and CEO Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH. “Integrating preventive oral health care into the primary care setting offers the opportunity to expand access for nearly all patients, and provides a new approach for addressing oral health as a component of comprehensive, whole-person care.”

“As a founding member of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), AACOM recognizes and commends NIIOH and partners for investing in development of high-quality tools and for providing educational opportunities to further make collaborative, patient-centered, interprofessional health care teams a highly functioning reality.”

The goal of the NIIOH is to improve access to oral health care and prevention for children, adults, and families at high risk. It brings together a diverse group of stakeholders in primary care education and practice to create oral health solutions. The DentaQuest Foundation, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and the REACH Foundation fund the NIIOH.

“Improving oral health equity for all will take the collaboration of partners from a diverse range of professions working together. We’re glad to welcome AACOM to this partnership, and we look forward to working with them to ensure Smiles for Life remains the standard for interprofessional education and person-centered oral health care,” said Ralph Fuccillo, President of the DentaQuest Foundation.

“This is a profound moment in the movement to improve the oral health status in the United States,” said Marcia Brand, Executive Director of the NIIOH. “The Smiles for Life curriculum continues to educate and engage a diverse range of providers on the importance of addressing oral health in primary care settings, and osteopathic physicians are an important component of the primary care team.”

Visit www.smilesforlifeoralhealth.org to access the downloadable curricular modules, resources, and to learn how you can help advance the Smiles for Life mission.