Our integrated oral health care model is used by states and counties to ensure more children are getting preventive dental care. 

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Low-income children are five times more likely to suffer from untreated tooth decay compared to children with greater means. This leads to suffering and health problems that can extend into adulthood, all of which can be easily prevented at an affordable cost. Our SmileConnect solution, an integrated care model, addresses this need by helping providers in the community coordinate dental care for children.

Our Approach

Altarum’s SmileConnect program is a scalable model that combines provider education, referral technology, and community integration to improve access to dental care. Here's how it works:

1) An accredited provider education program that helps primary care clinicians integrate preventive oral health exams and other basic dental care services, such as application of fluoride varnishes, into well-child visits.

2) Referral technology that makes it easy for primary care doctors and other community providers to refer children to nearby dentists who accept Medicaid and CHIP, and to track the care of their young patients.

3) community integration training program for community health workers to integrate oral health education and referrals into programs for children, such as WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. 


All three elements of the SmileConnect program have been implemented in communities across Michigan, resulting in nearly one million children covered by Medicaid or CHIP receiving earlier access to preventive oral health services, resources, and dental referrals. 

SmileConnect® Contact

Contact Us

Carley Kirk

Carley Kirk  - MS, RDH

Deputy Director, Healthy Women and Children

Areas of Expertise
  • Clinical Quality Improvement 
  • Medical Education
  • Children's Oral Health 

Carley leads Altarum's SmileConnect® program, an integrated care model that increases access of low-income children to oral health care through continuing medical education and technology that facilitates referrals and coordinates community dental health resources. Carley holds a master’s degree in health education and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan.

Allyson Rogers

Allyson Rogers  - MA

SmileConnect Specialist

Areas of Expertise
  • Public health communication
  • Program evaluation
  • Oral health

Allyson leads expansion efforts for SmileConnect, working with states and organizations to determine scalability, feasibility, and pricing. She has been part of the program (formerly known as the Michigan Caries Prevention Program) since its launch in 2014 and has provided expertise in evaluation, marketing, and project management. Allyson holds a master’s degree in Health and Risk Communication.