Shelly Gehshan directs children’s dental policy at Pew. She supervises the project’s work with states to expand access to prevention and treatment for children through policy changes in Medicaid, sealant programs, community water fluoridation, and the dental workforce.
As the lead on Pew’s work to improve children’s access to dental care and their overall oral health, Gehshan manages a broad research agenda that highlights both the scope of the problems and the most cost-effective, evidence-based solutions. She speaks frequently on the subjects of an expanded dental workforce and the benefits of community water fluoridation. She also helped lawmakers in Minnesota draft the nation’s first state law licensing dental therapists. She served on the Institute of Medicine panel that released a major report in 2011 on the dental access problem.
Prior to joining Pew, Gehshan spent nearly 20 years working for state policy makers on a range of issues affecting low-income women and children, such as oral health, behavioral health, reproductive health, service delivery and health care financing through Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Programs.
Gehshan has a master’s degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.