DONATE

Chris Coughlin, CFFO Legislative Director, was quoted in interviews by the Lebanon Express and Albany Democrat-Herald about the Children’s Agenda concept to boost oral health in schools, as part of a campaign called Healthy Teeth, Bright Futures.

“Those numbers [of children with rampant dental decay] are even more dire among children of color, children in rural areas and of low-income, according to Chris Coughlin, legislative director at nonprofit children’s advocacy group Children First for Oregon.

“There are still real barriers keeping families from getting the preventative dental care that kids need to be healthy and do well in school, and we know specifically that certain populations are impacted most,” Coughlin said.

Oregon Latino Health Coalition (OLHC) pinpointed the fact that in a state with very high child dental disease rates compared to other states, Latinx children are the second most likely group at risk for cavities, according to the 2017 SMILE Survey by the Oregon Health Authority. OLHC saw that data and made sure children’s oral health was a part of the 2020 Children’s Agenda. Over 20 other Children’s Agenda partner organizations are supporting CFFO and OLHC in legislative effort on this issue.

Additionally, among funders, Oregon Community Foundation has been and continues to be a major leader to improve child oral health, including access to care. Read their statement of commitment to this push here.

The bill, HB 4127, is up for a hearing in front of the House Committee on Education today.

Other Children’s Agenda items will be taken up by the legislature this week:

Today (Monday, February 3rd)
HB 4120 about Independent Living Program funding, which is Oregon Foster Youth Connection’s policy focus this session (and a Children’s Agenda priority).
HB 4039 about services to support unaccompanied homeless youth.
HB 4112 for child abuse prevention school curricula as part of Erin’s law (a Children’s Agenda priority).
Wednesday, February 5th:
Family Preservation Project funding to support the parenting skills and relationships of mothers who are incarcerated and their children (a Children’s Agenda priority)

Want to stay in the loop about the Children’s Agenda in the legislature? Sign up to get Chris’ updates.