Tips for Champion Building

Here are some tips and success factors for building champions:

Engage the support of management from the start.
Management must fully embrace the importance of oral health and the ease with which oral health can be integrated into existing organization services. With the support of management, you’ll be able to empower your champions to create and implement programs that meet the needs of older adults, and encourage other stakeholders to include oral health in their services, as well.

Be on the lookout for champion prospects.
Even a casual conversation may reveal strengths, motivation, or background experience that make a staff member an ideal oral health champion.

Look for opportunities to spread key messages.
Never miss an opportunity to remind staff and other stakeholders that oral health impacts overall health! In meetings and planning sessions, help staff find natural ways to fit oral health into existing organization programs and services.

Build alliances with recognized oral health organizations to provide credibility.
For example, Washington Dental Service Foundation and Southeast Aging and Long Term Care teamed up to build this oral health toolkit for your organization’s use.

Provide opportunities for numerous staff to become involved.
The more champions, the better! Capitalize on staff interests and talents to share the work and collaborate. Soliciting employee suggestions will help involve staff in the process from the start. For example, you could facilitate a brainstorming session to discuss how the toolkit best applies to the needs of your target population.