The New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry was awarded a $1.5 million U.S. grant to prepare dental and dental hygiene students to care for underserved populations.
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will support a new program, Preparing the Future, that aims to address the national workforce shortage of dental professionals providing primary care dental services to vulnerable populations, including those with disabilities and expectant mothers.
The school will revise the curriculum for the first-year dental school course "Health Promotion and Disease Prevention" to include interactive student engagement modules focused on underserved populations. In addition, third- and fourth-year dental students will collaborate with dietetic interns during their rotation in the pediatric dental clinic that incorporates nutritional counseling into oral health care for vulnerable high-risk children and their families.
Also, dental and dental hygiene students will learn how to improve dental access in community settings through school-based asynchronous teledentistry programs, incorporating intraoral cameras and virtual diagnosis of dental conditions.
Finally, the funding will support NYU Dentistry programs working to diversify the dental workforce through scholarships and expanded mentoring of predental hygiene and predental undergraduate students in the Bringing Smiles Dental Enrichment Program. The program seeks to help underrepresented students successfully enroll and thrive in dental school.