Optimal oral health for all Minnesotans

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The Minnesota Oral Health Coalition (MOHC) is a statewide outreach organization dedicated to improving the oral health of Minnesotans by broadening and developing stakeholder engagement and collaboration. The MOHC works to raise oral health to its rightful place within overall health, while solving oral health problems affecting all Minnesotans.

Oral health is essential to general health and well-being at every stage of life. A healthy mouth enables not only nutrition of the physical body, but also enhances social interaction and promotes self-esteem and feelings of well-being. The mouth serves as a “window” to the rest of the body, providing signals of general health disorders.

Oral conditions have an impact on overall health and disease. Bacteria from the mouth can cause infection in other parts of the body when the immune system has been compromised by disease or medical treatments (e.g., infective endocarditis). Systemic conditions and their treatment are also known to impact oral health (e.g., reduced saliva flow, altered balance of oral microorganisms).

The MOHC was formed in 2009 to be a statewide coalition promoting oral health under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant agreements entered into with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)’s Minnesota Oral Health Program division. MOHC’s initial governance structure was a transitional taskforce of appointed directors.

Minnesota oral health coalition

In October of 2011, MOHC elected its first board of directors and in June, 2014 Nancy Franke Wilson was named the first Executive Director for the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition.  Nancy’s background includes managing US Department of Transportation and US Department of Justice funding and programs for the State of Minnesota, fifteen years consulting experience in the areas of public policy, communications, organizational development and fundraising/grants.  Her client list includes the Center for Alcohol Policy, North Memorial Hospital, Hennepin County Medical Center, Think Small, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, several counties and cities, LOGIS, and is a preferred vendor with the State of Minnesota.  Nancy started and was the first Co-Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of Firefighter Training and Education (MBTFE) The MBFTE was first agency in the United States to license firefighters. 

Nancy holds a Master of Science in Health Science & Public Administration. She is a prolific public speaker and trainer.   She is a yogi and also a long-time student of the French language at Alliance Française of the Twin Cities.  Nancy’s dental home is Harbor Dental in Plymouth, MN.

The MOHC has an Outreach Committee, Policy & Learning Committee and Ad Hoc Nominations & Ad Hoc Development Committees. The board meets quarterly and hosts an annual oral health conference.

The MOHC was highly involved in the development of the State Oral Health Plan that serves as a roadmap for our future activities.

To learn more about the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, please contact us.

Board of Directors

Name Board Position Start Date Board Term Expires Appointed or Elected
Leah Anderson 3rd Party Payer December 2014 December 2018 Elected
Heidi Benson Consultant/Advocate January 2016 December 2019 Elected
Connie Bye Early Childhood Consultant December 2016 December 2018 Elected
Dr. Eileen Crespo Medical Provider February 2013 December 2018 Elected
Dr. Valeria Cristiani Medical Provider December 2014 December 2018 Elected
Jenny Crowe Child & Teen Checkup & Public Health January 2018 December 2019 Elected
Jessica Flotterud Hygienist, Community Clinic Director January 2014 December 2019 Elected
Cathy Jo Gunvalson Hygienist, Community Based Health Center, Educator January 2018 December 2019 Elected
Leah Kinney Provider/Administrator January 2016 December 2019 Elected
Jane Neubauer Consultant/Advocate January 2014 December 2019 Elected
Prasida Khanal Ex-Officio     Appointed