The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced a total of $3.7 million in grant awards to help states expand their oral health workforce or to help increase statewide access to oral health care for pregnant women and infants.
A majority of the funds, $3.1 million, will assist states in developing and implementing innovative programs to address dental workforce needs in dental health professional shortage areas. The seven awards are funded under the Grants to States to Support Oral Health Workforce Activities program administered by HRSA’s Bureau of Health Professions.
“The connection between good oral health care and overall health at any age cannot be overstated,” said HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “Integrating oral health care into primary care helps to improve access to affordable dental care in communities that lack a sufficient number of dental providers.”
The 3-year program requires a 40 percent non-federal match and allows flexibility in how funds are used through 13 legislatively authorized activities. These activities include: loan forgiveness and repayment, recruitment and retention efforts, grants and low- or no-interest loans, establishment or expansion of dental residency programs, expansion of oral health services in shortage areas, placement and support of dental trainees, teledentistry, promotion of oral health professions among youth, and faculty recruitment programs.
The remaining $600,000 will help increase statewide access to oral health care for pregnant women and infants. Through the Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement (PIOHQI) Pilot program, these funds will integrate oral health care into a comprehensive, statewide system of care to improve the overall health status of pregnant women and infants most at risk.
University of Iowa
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Michigan Department of Community Health
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
Montana Department of Health and Human Services
Health Research, Inc. / NYS Department of Health
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Connecticut Department of Social Services
Health Research, Inc.
West Virginia Department of Health Human Resources
The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.