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§16-41-1. Short title.

This article may be cited as the "West Virginia Oral Health Improvement Act".

§16-41-2. Oral health program and director.

(a) The commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health shall establish and maintain an oral health program.

(b) The commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health shall appoint a dentist licensed in this state as director of the oral health program who shall administer the program pursuant to the provisions of section three of this article.

§16-41-3. Duties and directives of oral health program.

(a) The director of the oral health program shall implement and maintain the oral health program to include, but not be limited to, the following goals and objectives:

(1) The development of comprehensive dental health plans within the framework of the state plan of operation, provided for in subsection (f), section six, article one of this chapter, to maximize use of all available resources;

(2) Providing the consultation necessary to coordinate federal, state, county and city agency programs concerned with dental health;

(3) Encouraging, supporting and augmenting the efforts of local boards of health and boards of education in the implementation of a dental health component in their program plans;

(4) Providing consultation and program information to, at a minimum, health professions, health professional educational institutions, school educators, extension specialists and volunteer agencies;

(5) Providing programs aimed at preventing and detecting oral cancer in the state, with a primary focus of meeting the needs of high-risk under-served populations, with the intent to reduce oral cancer mortality;

(6) Providing programs addressing oral health education and promotion, including:

(A) Public health education to promote the prevention of oral disease through self-help methods, including the initiation and expansion of preschool, school age and adult education programs;

(B) Organized continuing health education training programs for, at a minimum, health care providers, school educators and extension specialists; and

(C) Preventive health education information for the public;

(7) Facilitation of access to oral health services, including:

(A) The improvement of the existing oral health services delivery system for the provision of services to all West Virginia residents;

(B) Outreach activities to inform the public of the type and availability of oral health services to increase the accessibility of oral health care for all West Virginia residents; and

(C) Assistance and cooperation in promoting better distribution of dentists and other oral health professionals throughout the state;

(8) Providing programs specifically targeting prevention of tooth loss and the restoration of existing teeth to the extent that funds are available.

(9) Providing oral or dental health services to individuals in need, to the extent funds are available for the services; and

(10) Provide evaluation of these programs in terms of preventive services.

(b) In consultation with dental care providers, the commissioner shall develop and implement ongoing oral cancer educational programs in the state:

(1) To train health care providers to screen and properly refer patients with oral cancers; and

(2) To promote the cessation of the use of alcohol and tobacco products with a primary focus of meeting the needs of high-risk under-served populations.

(c) The programs developed and implemented under this section shall address:

(1) The risk factors that lead to oral cancer;

(2) The signs and symptoms of oral cancer;

(3) The high-risk behaviors that may lead to oral cancer; and

(4) The accessibility of screening to detect oral cancer.

(d) In addition to the duties and responsibilities required under this section, the director of the oral health program shall administer and supervise all dental health programs within the Bureau for Public Health.

§16-41-4. Receipt of funds; special revenue account.

(a) The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources may, in his or her discretion, transfer funds from other programs within his or her control, to the special revenue account created in this section for the purposes established in this article.

(b) The director may apply for and receive for the oral health program any financial aid granted by any private, federal, state or local or other grant or source.

(c) There is hereby established in the State Treasury a special revenue account designated the "Oral Health Program Fund". All funds received by the director for the oral health program shall be deposited in the special revenue account.

(d) Moneys deposited in this fund shall be used exclusively to provide oral health services to accomplish the purposes of this article. Expenditures of moneys deposited in this fund are to be made in accordance with appropriation by the Legislature and in accordance with article three, chapter twelve of this code and upon fulfillment of the provisions of article two, chapter five-a of this code: Provided, That for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2002, expenditures are authorized from deposits rather than pursuant to appropriation by the Legislature. The director may disburse funds from the special revenue account as required by this article.

§16-41-5. Contracts.

The director may enter into contracts and agreements necessary to facilitate the efficient and economical provision of oral health services under this article, including contracts for the purchase of services, equipment, and supplies from qualified providers, if included in the plan.

§16-41-6. Reporting requirements.

On or before December 1, of each year, the commissioner shall submit a report on the commissioner's findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on the oral health programs established under this article. The report shall include the identification of existing barriers to proper oral health care in the state and recommendations addressing the removal of the barriers.



Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 32.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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