School of Dentistry receives ADEA grant to address oral health disparities

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry received a $70,000 grant from the ADEA Dental Education Association Minority Dental Faculty Development (MDFD) program to address oral health disparities in vulnerable children and communities. The program’s approach is to bring together academic dental health professionals with partners in their communities to create a longer term environment where regular oral health care is attainable by all Americans. The MDFD program seeks to develop new, more diverse generations of allied dental health professionals prepared to meet the systemic, unmet need for dental care in the U.S. Karl Self [LINK TO BIO] (Primary Dental Care-Dental Therapy) will direct the project and Naty Lopez [LINK TO BIO](Primary Dental Care-Dental Public Health) will facilitate student engagement efforts.

The project also will increase the cadre of allied dental health professionals by hiring a dental therapy [LINK] faculty member on a permanent basis, creating and formalizing a mentoring program in the Department of Primary Dental Care, and identifying potential mentors as volunteers Community-based organization Ready. Set. Smile. will serve as a project subcontractor and will utilize project funds to expand its services to Sojourner Truth Academy, a pre K-8th grade public elementary charter school in North Minneapolis serving 423 students. The project began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2015.