… The Mississippi Department of Health held a hearing Monday as it determines how to spend more than $2.175 million in federal funds on public health projects statewide.
The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant program is a federal program from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that provides the states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories and native american tribes to address public health issues at the local level.
The department released a draft list•• of the projects and some of the larger programs include:
… Another health program is for the promotion of community water fluoridation and that program will be appropriated $204,642. Only 41 percent of the state’s water systems provide fluoridation for their water, with federal data showing that 74.6 percent of the nation’s population receiving fluoridation. In 2015 Mississippi ranked 37th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in having the least number of residents who received fluoride via their drinking water. The goal of the program is to increase the percentage statewide…
•• Excerpts from the draft work plan list:
Block Grant Coordinator:
Ridgeland MS 39157
CDC Work Plan ID: MS 2021 V0 R1
Created on: 6/7/2021
Community Water Fluoridation (HO OH-11): $204,642 will be used to continue providing funding to local public water systems to fluoridate their water. In addition, awareness and education forums will be given to non-fluoridated public water systems on the importance of fluoridation and its impact on the health of Mississippians.
ORAL HEALTH PROMOTION AND EDUCATION, OH-11 Community Water Fluoridation, $204,642
State Program Title: ORAL HEALTH PROMOTION AND EDUCATION
State Program Strategy:
1. Program Goal:
The 2021 Oral Health Promotion and Education will fund one state priority area of oral disease control, Community Water Fluoridation (CWF). As one of the top ten public health interventions of the 21st century, CWF is a leading program of the MS Oral Health Program’s prevention efforts. Proven as a cost-effective, universally beneficial intervention, this program maximizes the potential of reducing the risk of developing dental decay in many communities throughout the state.
2. Program Priorities:
The Mississippi State Department of Health’s (MSDH) Office of Environmental Health regulates or tests food, milk, air, water, and on-site wastewater that can affect the health of Mississippians and is also responsible for certain institutional services. The Public Water Supply Program ensures safe drinking water to the citizens of Mississippi who utilize the state’s public water supplies by strictly enforcing the requirements of the Federal and State Safe Drinking Water Acts (SDWAs). The Community Water Fluoridation program priorities include:
a. Create an effective oral health services infrastructure to assure oral disease prevention and control.
b. Implement and assure effective population-based oral health programs that prevent disease and improve health.
c. Ensure adequate funding for programs that assure good oral health for children (birth permanent teeth development).
3. Primary Strategic Partnerships:
The MSDH fosters ongoing collaboration with both internal and external partners involved with the Environmental Health Community Water Fluoridation Program.
4. Evaluation Methodology: Several surveillance methodologies exist in measuring the risk of oral diseases:
(1) The National Oral Health Surveillance System (NOHSS) includes measures from the February 1, 2016, version of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) at http://www .cdc.gov/NOHSS and (2) the CDC’s Water Fluoridation Reporting System (July 31, 2015)…
National Health Objective:
HO OH-13 Community Water Fluoridation
State Health Objective(s):
Between 10/2021 and 09/2025, increase by 2% the proportion of population in Mississippi served by public water systems with optimally fluoridated water within the range of 0.6 to 1.2 parts per million.
As of December 31, 2020, 41.1% of Mississippi’s population receives fluoridated water through public water systems.
Mississippi Community Water Fluoridation Surveillance System
State Health Problem:
The National Healthy People 2020 encourages all states to assure community water fluoridation for at least 79.6% of their total population. In 2014, 74.6% of the U.S. population on public water systems (211.4 million people) received fluoridated water. Mississippi faces enormous health challenges, with long-term social, educational, and economic problems linked to profound inequities in access to medical and dental care. A major social issue, poverty, heavily affects the state’s population. According to the 2015 Census, approximately 22.0% of Mississippi’s population (individuals) lived below the poverty level, compared to 13.5% nationally. Poverty, lack of education, geographic isolation, and entrenched cultural norms contribute to health disparities and a lack of access to health care. Those with poor general health have a much higher risk for poor oral health. Water fluoridation is socially equitable and benefits both children and adults in a community, without regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational attainment, or other social variables. Fluoridation provides the greatest benefit to those who can least afford preventative or restorative dentistry and reduces dental disease, loss of teeth, and time away from work or school. Drinking fluoridated water from birth can reduce tooth decay by 20-40 percent and the preventative protection of water fluoridation lasts throughout one’s adult life.
The Mississippi State Department of Health strives to assure that public water supplies have clean, safe drinking water for all Mississippians. The Mississippi Public Water Fluoridation Program began in 1952 to increase the number of public water systems in Mississippi that adjust the natural fluoride content in a community’s water to an adequate level for the prevention of tooth decay. In 2015, Mississippi ranked 37 of 50 states along with the District of Columbia in having the least number of people who received public water fluoridation: with approximately only 58.2% of the population receiving fluoridated water. In 2011, the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign gave Mississippi a “C” because the state fell short of the national goal of providing optimally fluoridated water to at least 75% of its citizens via community water systems.
It has been estimated that for every $1 invested in community water fluoridation; the community saves up to approximately $38 in averted costs. The cost per person of instituting and maintaining a water fluoridation program in a community decreases with increasing population size. It is estimated that over $8 million in dental treatment costs will be averted in Mississippi due to the implementation of 88 new water fluoridation programs since 2004. Water fluoridation is more cost effective than any other form of fluoride use.
Reference: Pew Center on the States, Pew Charitable Trusts, February 2015.
OBJECTIVES – ANNUAL ACTIVITIES
Allocated funds are used to achieve Impact & Process Objective outcomes and to carry out Annual Activities that are based on Evidence Based Guidelines and Best Practices identified in this work plan.
Objective 1: Encourage New and Motivate Existing Partnerships
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, MSDH Water Fluoridation Advisory Board and Office of Oral Health, will identify one new partnership to help improve acceptance and support for community water fluoridation.
1. Sustain Existing Partnerships
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, Bureau of Public Water Supply and Office of Oral Health will hold one (1) meeting of the MSDH Water Fluoridation Advisory Board to improve the public’s acceptance of community water fluoridation.
2. Develop Activities with Partners
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, the Bureau of Public Water Supply, and Office of Oral Health will meet with leadership of the following partners to identify and plan a campaign to encourage understanding and acceptance of community water fluoridation by local public administrators such as: (1) Mississippi Rural Water Association (2) American Water Works Association (3) Mississippi Municipal League (4) the Mississippi Dental Association and (5) Mississippi Water and Pollution Control Operators Association.
Objective 2: Increase Knowledge, Awareness, and Education
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the MSDH Office of Environmental Health Program will publish one literature piece to educate local water operators and public utilities staff about the benefits of water fluoridation and/or new technology impacting its ease of system delivery.
1. Implement Community Water Fluoridation Plan
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, the Bureau of Public Water Supply, and the Office of Oral Health will implement the community water fluoridation plan and share it with constituents.
Objective 3: Increase Use of Fluoridated Water
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the MSDH Office of Environmental Health will increase the percent of Mississippi citizens receiving fluoridated water by upgrading 3 systems who have faulty equipment and technology that currently hinders them from adding fluoride to their water.
1. Educate Leaders/Communities
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, the Office of Oral Health, and the Bureau of Public Water Supply will inform and educate the policy making bodies/leaders in at least 10 Mississippi communities about the benefits of community water fluoridation.
2. Promote Awareness
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, the Office of Oral Health, and the Bureau of Public Water Supply will give presentations and/or provide exhibits for two (2) professional conferences or educational meetings to promote the health benefits of water fluoridation and encourage community-level advocacy.
3. Improve Access to Information
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, Bureau of Public Water Supply, and Office of Oral Health will review and update information about fluoride and water fluoridation on the MSDH website; provide updated reports and web links to other resources using data from CDC’s Water Fluoridation Reporting System.
Objective 4: Provide Technical Support
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the MSDH Office of Environmental Health will maintain one (1) contract with a water engineering firm to provide support for water fluoridation systems design.
1. Technical Assistance
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the consulting engineer will provide technical assistance to community water systems which are grant recipients, at no cost to the public water systems.
Objective 5: Providing Educational Information
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the MSDH Office of Environmental Health and Office of Oral Health will provide access to educational information thru emails, discussion points, and trainings to 180 existing community water fluoridation systems.
1. Educate Community Water Systems Staff/Personnel
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health and the Bureau of Public Water Supply will disseminate revolving loan information to community water systems, emphasizing the section Category X
[This category is for projects that either rehabilitate existing fluoride treatment facilities at well or treatment plant sites or add new facilities to existing well or treatment plants. Fluoridation projects may be included in the loan for any water system that requires an upgrade or improvement to comply with regulatory requirements].
Objective 6: Sustain Financial Support
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the MSDH Office of Environmental Health will establish at least two (2) new funding agreements with external entities to support funding for new water fluoridation programs.
[The PHHSBG funding will be used to match funding from the private health foundations.].
1. Renew Financial Support & Obligations
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, and the Bureau of Public Water Supply will provide financial updates to private health foundations to obtain new funding agreement(s) for public water systems in Mississippi.
Objective 7: Water Fluoridation Maintenance Instruction
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the MSDH Office of Environmental Health will distribute instructional materials and conduct professional training to all the water operators within local communities that install new water fluoridation systems.
1. Provide Technical Assistance
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health and the Division of Water Supply will provide training for water operators that begin new water fluoridation programs using experienced engineering personnel.
Note: Training includes procedures for maintaining a high level of system performance and reporting the adjusted fluoridation data.
2. Assure Public Reporting
Between 10/2021 and 09/2022, the Office of Environmental Health, and the Division of Water Supply will continue to maintain the entry of local water system data into the CDC Water Fluoridation Reporting System; provide assurance that the collected data are accurate and processed in a timely manner.