While the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion have been the topics du jour in recent weeks, one of the most overlooked aspects of healthcare in the state of Missouri may be oral health. In 2012 The Pew Charitable Trust’s Center on the States issued a report card for all 50 states based on eight benchmarks that they consider important steps to improve and expand access to dental health. Missouri received a grade of C, having met or exceeded only half of those benchmarks.
The Department of Health and Senior Services has appointed Missouri’s first dental director in more than a decade.
Dr. Ray Storm is a dentist from the St. Louis area. He founded Give Kids a Smile, a nonprofit that holds annual free dental clinics for children in need. The Missouri Oral Health Coalition helped raise the funds to reinstate the position in the state. Gary Harbison, the coalition’s director, said he’s pleased with Storm’s appointment.