U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Indian Health Performance Evaluation System

New Agency Initiatives

Early Childhood Caries (ECC)

The Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is an agency wide initiative launched in March 2010 to reduce childhood caries (cavities) in children ages 0-5 years of age. This is an important initiative because 76 percent of Native children between the ages of two and five have experienced dental caries compared to just 28 percent of children of the same age in the general population.

How Is This Initiative Different?

The ECC is different because it combines the efforts of multiple programs within the IHS to address this issue. Working with Dental staff, other providers such as doctors, Public Health Nurses, Community Health Representatives, Head Start and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) programs are also participating. The overall goal of the ECC initiative is to reduce childhood caries by 25% over the next three years.

How Will Progress Be Measured?

The Division of Oral Health (DOH) has partnered with the Indian Health Performance Evaluation System (IHPES) to expand its current DOH "data mart" to include reports specific to the ECC initiative. At any time, Dental staff has immediate access to progress reports for the 0-5 year age groups for ECC prevalence, number of patients receiving sealants and the number of sealant applications given, number of patients receiving fluoride treatments and the number of fluoride treatments provide and the number of Interim Therapeutic Restorations (ITR) given. The IHPES program is pleased to assist the agency meet this important oral health initiative.