How can you use data to make your case?

A thorough, comprehensive environmental scan will provide the data that drive your business plan, and will provide information detailing the strengths and weaknesses of oral health programs within the community. It will allow you and potential partners to assess the feasibility of moving forward to establish school-linked oral health services in a school or district. Be certain that the data is the most recent available, and is consistent if found in several different sources. Commonly used resources are listed under “Utilizing Data’ under the “Laying a Foundation” tab. The environmental scan generally includes:

  • County-level demographic data, including
    • Total population
    • Population at various Federal Poverty Levels
    • Racial and ethnic breakdown
    • Percentage of population uninsured
  • County-level data on the number of children eligible and enrolled in Medicaid
  • County-level data on the number of children eligible and enrolled in CHP+
  • County-level data on the number of Medicaid and CHP+ children with at least one dental visit in the past year
  • Number and location of private and public dental providers
  • Number and location of private and public dental providers who accept Medicaid
  • Locations of schools where 50 percent or more of students are eligible for free or reduced price lunch
  • Other school-linked oral health services within the area, and who provides them
  • Knowledge of the formal and informal decision-makers in your community
  • Survey of possible partners (including non-traditional partners such as the business community, faith-based organizations, etc.) to help support a school-linked oral health program

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has a tool called VISION that can provide data to help you prioritize chronic disease and behavioral health measures.

Use the following to gather important data about the population(s) you are seeking to serve: