The ultimate goal of every public health program is to support the health needs of more people in the targeted community. The programs should be monitored and managed by competent leaders. Dental public health programs should also be led by skilled managers who can make effective and evidence-based decisions (Longest, 2004). Managers can use various decision-making methods to support their respective programs. The manager must therefore select the most appropriate decision-making method.
That being the case, the decisions made by such managers should be carefully evaluated. The decisions made by the manager dictate the contribution of every group member. An effective evaluation method will ensure the decisions support every stakeholder involved in the dental health program. As well, the decisions should be guided by the changing oral health needs of the targeted community. The evaluation process will ensure the decisions made by the manager focus on the best health outcomes (Longest, 2004). The other important thing is to ensure the decisions are favorable to all the public health professionals involved in the program. This approach is necessary because dental public health projects bring together many stakeholders and professionals.
The decisions should also promote positive practices that have the potential to influence the community’s oral health positively (Longest, 2004). The decisions should also be evidence-based. This means that the program manager must be aware of the new developments in dental health. This knowledge will empower the manager to make desirable decisions that can address the oral health needs of many communities. Competent professionals and experts in dental health should constantly evaluate the decisions made by these managers. By so doing, the programs will transform the oral health of more people.
Example of a Dental Public Health Program
The “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a powerful oral health program in 2011” (Oral Health Program, 2016, para. 4). The “mission of the program was to control and prevent oral conditions in the United States by building the knowledge, networks, and tools that can promote desirable health behaviors” (Oral Health Program, 2016, para. 6). The dental health program manager was empowered to provide quality leadership. The vision of the program was “to create a nation whereby all people enjoyed good dental health that could contribute to healthy lives” (Oral Health Program, 2016, para. 6).
The project manager is required to consider the most appropriate decisions and strategies. The CDC has always been evaluating the decisions made by different managers and other key leaders. This evaluation is usually undertaken frequently. The decisions are monitored in order to ensure they are in accordance with the program’s vision and mission. As well, the organization has been evaluating the decisions in an attempt to support the diverse needs of more children and adults in the country (Oral Health Program, 2016). This scenario shows clearly that dental health program managers must make quality decisions if they are to support the needs of the targeted patients.
Competencies for Program Managers
Properly-managed oral health programs have the potential to transform the lives of many citizens. Managers of such projects should therefore be good decision-makers. Their decisions should be guided by the needs of the targeted communities. They should also embrace the best leadership approaches. They “must address problems, be advocates of proper dental health, and empower their followers” (Thokala et al., 2016, p. 4). Such managers must also collaborate with different agencies in order to produce quality results.
Longest, B. (2004). Managing health programs and projects. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Oral Health Program: Strategic Plan 2011-2014. (2016). Web.
Thokala, P., Devlin, N., Marsh, K., Baltussen, R., Boysen, M., Kalo, Z.,…Ijzerman, M. (2016). Multiple criteria decision analysis for health care decision making: an introduction. Value in Health, 19(1), 1-13.