A Network Approach

OPEN puts the power for change into the hands of people who share the same set of beliefs about every person’s right to a healthy life. As a network, OPEN is uniquely positioned to tackle tough problems — in this case, systems that continue to perpetuate inequities.

Systems change requires the engagement of multiple stakeholders with diverse perspectives to develop appropriate, effective strategies. OPEN has taken a network-building approach to changing the oral health system by engaging health equity advocates, community-based organizations, providers, clinicians, policymakers, and health justice organizers. Across this network, OPEN is building alignment and coordinating efforts toward realizing a shared vision and achieving articulated goals and targets.

As a progress and equity Network, OPEN seeks out diversity in membership and representation from community, state, and national levels, also referred to grassroots, grassmiddles and grasstops. The diversity of experiences, knowledge, and skills of OPEN members, coupled with a shared vision and purpose, create the opportunity for greater collective impact. Network activities are driven by members, and because of this collective empowerment, each member is better equipped and empowered to contribute to large-scale change.

Only by working together in this way can we take on America’s oral health challenges so that everyone has an equitable chance to thrive.