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Don't Be Afraid to Say 'Open Your Mouth':
New Video Series Emphasizes Small Steps to Make a Big Impact

The nccPA Health Foundation released the first of four new video clips highlighting opportunities to improve health by addressing the oral health of every patient. Watch here (3.43).

This new series builds on Joining the Fight for Oral Health:  Promoting Health Equity, released in 2016.  Designed with clinicians in mind, the clips share the experiences of PAs and interprofessional partners and provide easy-to-implement next steps.  

“The oral-systemic connection is well documented as are the barriers that keep patients from receiving needed care, including lack of access, cost, even fear of the dentist,” said Cynthia Booth Lord, MHS, PA-C, Past Chair of the nccPA Health Foundation Board and video participant.  “As PAs learn about oral health, we can make a value-added impact for our patients.”

Watch future issues of the NCCPA News for additional small steps you can take to connect the dots about the oral-systemic connection, foster interprofessional collaboration, and activate patients for better self-care.  


The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) PA program brought together students across health profession disciplines to provide healthcare to The Firehouse Shelter –a facility serving homeless men in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

Twice a month, Firehouse clients are screened for hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and other health issues.  Since June 2016, approximately 40 PA students have rotated through the clinic and provided care for more than 120 individuals.

"This is one of those rare occasions that impacts the lives of everyone involved," said James R. Kilgore, PhD, PA-C, program director of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program. "Our students get to see interesting cases, meet unique clients and put the lessons learned in anatomy and physiology to work. And on the other side of the table, the clients get the high quality medical care they so desperately need yet cannot access anywhere else."

UAB anticipates turning its health screening project into a sustainable program that will continue to deliver healthcare to one of Birmingham’s most vulnerable population. The project has proven to be invaluable not only to the men who receive healthcare, but also to the students who deliver that care.

"My mother used to work at a local women's shelter so I spent a lot of time working with her," said PA student, Ebony Bates. "Seeing first-hand how basic preventative healthcare can be overlooked due to stress of being homeless, encouraged me to do outreach in the hope that I could help play a role in making sure that those needs were met."

“Health Screenings for the Homeless” is supported by the nccPA Health Foundation’s Be the CHANGE grants program.

 Firehouse Shelter image 1      Firehouse shelter image 2

PA Educator, James Kilgore, and UAB PA students host a clinic at The Firehouse Shelter.

Read previous spotlights here.

Ready to lead a change?  Check out the grant opportunities available from the nccPA Health Foundation.