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Champions of Public Oral Health celebrated in annual award

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04 December 2019

Victoria’s top dental professionals were honoured at the 2019 Public Oral Health Awards for their outstanding commitment to public dental services.

The Awards, presented by Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV), recognise public oral health professionals, volunteers and organisations that go above and beyond to improve the health outcomes of those most in need of dental treatment.

The winners of the 2019 Public Oral Health Awards are:

  • Star of Public Dentistry – Narelle Rowe, Maryborough District Health Service
  • Oral Health Project of the Year – Oral Health Educators Partnering with Patients, Ballarat Health Services
  • Clinic of the Year – Flying Doctor Dental Clinic,Royal Flying Doctors Service
  • Community Oral Health Champion – Lauren Milloy, East Grampians Health Service Ararat

DHSV CEO Dr Deborah Cole said the Award nominations across all four categories highlighted the wealth of quality projects, clinics and staff in the Victorian public dental sector.

“It is such an honour to recognise inspirational people who are doing great things for public health in Victoria,” said Dr Cole.

“The public dental sector is staffed with dedicated and talented professionals who are doing great things to promote oral heath across the entire state”, she said.

Star of Public Dentistry – Narelle Rowe, Maryborough District Health Service

Narelle Rowe

Narelle has more than 40 years’ experience in public dentistry. She works at the Maryborough Dental Service, which requires a high degree of community dental support because until recently the local water supply was non-fluoridated and many community members relied on tank water. Narelle presents oral health talks at supported playgroups, maternal child health and local events to engage and educate the community on how to improve oral health. For the past two years she has run drawing competitions at local primary schools to promote oral health messages.

Oral Health Project of the Year – Oral Health Educators Partnering with Patients, Ballarat Health

Ballarat Health

Ballarat Health developed a program to educate clients about the importance of oral health. Staff were encouraged to qualify as oral health educators which allowed Ballarat Health to develop client education programs to encourage positive behaviour change. Staff created home care plans, provided clients with home starter kits, and offered free weekly mouth assessments to ensure they remained on-track for later treatment. This has led to a stronger preventative focus and a reduction in the severity of hospital admissions.

Clinic of the Year – Flying Doctor Dental Clinic, Royal Flying Doctors Service

RFDS

The Royal Flying Doctor Service, in partnership with DHSV have been operating the Flying Doctor Dental Clinic (FDDC) since January 2016. The FDDC provides oral health education, screening and treatment for people living in rural communities through mobile and fixed clinics. The FDDC removes barriers of distance and time from communities that often have limited access to public oral health services. On average, the FDDC saved rural clients 2.5 hours of travel, and more than 7,600 hours of combined travel.

Community Oral Health Champion – Lauren Milloy, East Grampians Health Service Ararat

Lauren Milloy

Lauren has been instrumental in developing outreach programs and delivering oral health and dietary advice sessions. Her skills and training as a teacher mean she can communicate preventative dental health advice to a range of audiences from schools, kindergartens, and early learning centres. As a result, patient participation rates are increasing, and families are now completing their full treatment plans. Lauren’s tools are being used to guide families to self-manage their oral health.

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