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Rural Health Information Hub

District Health Department #10

  • Project Title: Dental Partnering for Heart Health
  • Program Representative Interviewed: Donna Norkoli, Health Planner
  • Location: Lake and Mecosta Counties, MI
  • Program Overview: District Health Department #10's Dental Partnering for Heart Health program was designed to reduce the risk of heart disease in high-risk populations through partnerships with dental clinics, health clinics, and a hospital. District Health Department #10 focused the program on two counties within its service area that had the highest risk of cardiovascular issues. Program partners used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Heart Age Calculator to identify individuals with a high-risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event. Potential participants were then referred to services, such as blood pressure case management, diabetes case management, weight management, tobacco cessation, and diabetes prevention programs.

    In addition, District Health Department #10 incorporated community health workers (CHWs) to screen for social determinants of health risk factors and help connect people with resources. The CHWs followed up with program participants by phone and regularly checked in with participants about their progress.

    Over its three-year grant period, the Dental Partnering for Heart Health program helped to improve both participants' health and relationships between community health providers. The program tracked 399 participants throughout the grant period. Of these participants, 43% improved their body mass index (BMI) and 38% improved their blood pressure. In addition, 72% of participants with high blood pressure readings in the first year had normal blood pressure readings when screened again. The program also strengthened partnerships among the participating health providers, which can be sustained after the grant period. For more information, see Dental Partnering for Hearth Health: End-of-Project Evaluation Results, 2018-2021.

Theories, Models, and Strategies Represented by this Program: