The University of Texas (UT) Health San Antonio School of Dentistry has received a $2.7 million grant to help increase the number of dental professionals from underrepresented minority groups.
The recruitment efforts will be conducted through the school’s Hispanic Center of Excellence (HCOE), which was created by the dental school in 2013 to focus on providing more educational opportunities for individuals from minority groups and underserved areas, according to a press release dated November 20 from the university.
The grant, provided by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, is designated to support the HCOE’s efforts, such as providing opportunities for strengthening academic foundations, dental admissions test preparation, and leaderships skills development.
Currently, many counties in South Texas lack sufficient dental professionals to ensure proper care coverage within the communities they serve. Most of these underserved areas are home to Hispanic residents and people of color, according to the release.
"We must attract [underrepresented minority groups] to dentistry so the demographics of the profession mirror the demographics of our state,” Dr. Juanita Lozano Pineda, MPH, the director of HCOE, said in the press release.