The program aims to reduce barriers to dental care for vulnerable children and their families through academic and community partnerships. The goal is to increase diversity in the dental workforce, support educational objectives, and provide leadership training.
"Children in particular need access to dental care in the right place at the right time to protect their overall health," stated Jeanne Sinkford, DDS, PhD, ADEA senior scholar-in-residence, in a press release. "These partnerships are breaking down barriers to dental care for the most vulnerable communities and helping to create a dental workforce better prepared for a growing and more diverse America."
The ADEA program already has 24 academic-community partnerships, and it will extend its efforts to geographic areas with new or no existing dental schools. These new partners will work with allied dental faculty to provide dental and preventive care to children and adolescents in underserved areas.
"The numbers speak for themselves, and they are telling us in no uncertain terms that we must tackle access to dental care head on," stated Richard Valachovic, DMD, MPH, president and CEO of ADEA. "We are so fortunate to have the ongoing support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation as we work to ensure that geography and financial resources are no longer obstacles to good oral health."