Nancy Rublee, R.D.H., CHDC
Myron Allukian Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions in Community Dental Programs 2022 Recipient
Throughout her 45-year career, Nancy Rublee has been an exemplary oral health leader and advocate for infants, children, and older adults living in rural Wisconsin.
Ms. Rublee’s innovative efforts to develop public oral health programs to serve people suffering from poor oral health have been recognized at the local, state, and national levels. She has transformed oral health care for patients and oral health professionals in Wisconsin through her work facilitating access to oral health care for vulnerable populations in many of Wisconsin’s federally designated dental health professional shortage areas. Her efforts have included working with Head Start programs; Prenatal Care Coordination, a Wisconsin Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus benefit that helps pregnant women receive services and support during pregnancy and postpartum; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Wisconsin Healthy Smiles’ programs for school-age children, older adults, and people with disabilities in long-term care facilities.
She has been a champion for incorporating data collection and evaluation into programs, as well as for forming partnerships with case managers to improve the referral processes for those with urgent oral health needs. She collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Oral Health, to create the Sealant Efficiency Assessment for Locals and States (SEALS) software program.
Ms. Rublee also established rigorous policies and protocols for registered dental hygienists and public health nurses in Wisconsin to follow when administering oral health programs through local health departments, frequently working with multiple state and city stakeholders to help ensure successful program implementation.
In addition, Ms. Rublee advocated to allow registered dental hygienists to become Medicaid providers and receive reimbursement for oral health care within their scope of practice. Her work with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services resulted in registered dental hygienists being allowed to practice in a variety of settings without the authorization and presence of a dentist.