OHEP Overview:

The Massachusetts Oral Health Equity Project (OHEP), managed by the MDPH Office of Health Equity, is a collaborative project with the MDPH Office of Oral Health, funded by the DHHS Office of Minority Health for 5 years, starting in August 2015.  

OHEP addresses the Healthy People 2020 leading indicator for oral health: persons who visited the dentist in the past year. The project focuses on children up to age 14 in Worcester and Holyoke, two cities with disparities in oral health outcomes and large proportions of racial and ethnic minority residents.

OHEP Goals and Objectives:


Increase by 10% over baseline the number of children up to age 14 from low-income racial and ethnic minority communities in the cities of Worcester and Holyoke who visit the dentist/dental hygienist each year.

Disseminate what we have learned about project methods and results; using what we have learned, develop plans for statewide adoption of best practices to reduce oral health disparities for Black and Hispanic children.


1. Engage community members in a participatory process to develop a Health Disparities Profile and Community Engagement Plan

2. Improve oral health access through:

  • 2a. Regular dental visits
  • 2b. Oral health homes

3. Disseminate results and develop a statewide oral health equity plan

Contact Information:

Shelly Yarnie
Director of Local Public Health Initiatives
Office of Local and Regional Health/Office of Health Equity
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
180 Beaman Street
West Boylston, MA 01583
Phone: 508.792.7880 ext. 2168
Email: shelly.yarnie@state.ma.us


Rodrigo Monterrey
Deputy Director, Office of Health Equity
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
250 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-994-9806
Email: Rodrigo.monterrey@state.ma.us


This information is provided by the

Office of Health Equity

within the Department of Public Health