Current Oral Health Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 155–163 | Cite as

A Multi-level, Multi-Sector Oral Health Literacy Initiative to Reduce Oral Health Disparities and Achieve Health Equity: Early Lessons from the Maryland Model

  • Alice M. HorowitzEmail author
  • Dushanka V. Kleinman
  • Harry S. Goodman
  • John Welby
Dental Public Health (R Collins, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Dental Public Health


The state of Maryland’s oral health literacy initiative experience serves as a case study. This experience was stimulated by the tragic death of Deamonte Driver in 2007 and highlights actions taken and lessons learned. It is a story of one state’s response, one that received strong support from state congressional and state legislative leaders, senior government leadership, multiple community and professional groups, foundations, and funding agencies. It is the hope that this experience can be used to inform other states that are working to enhance oral health promotion and disease prevention strategies, or other health conditions, for vulnerable populations.


Oral health literacy Dental disease prevention Oral health promotion Maryland model 



The manuscript is based on selected work of numerous partners. The following organizations contributed funding to the Maryland Health Literacy Model: DentaQuest Foundation, Dental Trade Alliance Foundation, ADA Foundation, Samuel D. Harris Fund of the ADA Foundation, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Health Resources and Services Administration

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dushanka V. Kleinman and John Welby declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Alice M. Horowitz reports grants from DentaQuest Foundation, Dental Trade Alliance Foundation, and ADA Foundation (Harris) during the conduct of study.

Harry S. Goodman reports grants from the CDC and HRSA, during the conduct of study.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alice M. Horowitz
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dushanka V. Kleinman
    • 1
  • Harry S. Goodman
    • 2
  • John Welby
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Office of Oral Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental HygienePrevention and Health Promotion AdministrationBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Maryland Department of Health and Mental HygieneBaltimoreUSA

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