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IUSD grant increases oral health services in shortage areas

IUSD grant increases oral health services in shortage areas
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IU School of Dentistry awarded $1.6 million grant to increase oral health care services in shortage areas

IUSD grant serves shortage areas
Dr. Elizabeth Simpson (seated) provides guidance and mentorship to fourth-year dental students Joseph Rietow and Jordan Booth at The Jane Pauley Community Dental Center, a community-based dental clinic caring for underserved populations. Dr. Simpson is a volunteer adjunct faculty member of the IU School of Dentistry. All fourth-year Indiana University dental students rotate through community centers in the state to learn about dental public health and access to care issues for low-income populations.

The Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded the Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) a $1.6 million grant to address oral health care workforce shortages in underserved communities.

The grant, “Strengthening the Oral Health Workforce in Indiana through an Innovative Community-Based Dental Education Model,” is a collaboration among IUSD, the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Indiana State Department of Health/State Oral Health Director.

“This exciting project further deepens the dental school’s commitment to IUPUI’s Strategic Plan goal of community engagement, while teaching our students about dental public health issues to better serve the people of Indiana,” said Dean John N. Williams.

“The aim of the grant is to create sustainable, high-quality oral health services that increase access to high-quality care for populations living in designated Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (Dental HPSAs),” said Dr. Tamara Button, IUSD’s director of community-based dental education and the grant’s principal investigator.

Through this grant, IUSD will expand its community-based dental education program beginning this fall, in which fourth-year dental students work in two-week rotations to provide dental care at a community clinic in a Dental HPSA, Dr. Button said.

“The community rotations will be taken to a new level of innovation by integrating fourth-year dental students into inter-professional teams that will address two of Indiana’s key health priorities: childhood obesity and substance use disorders, specifically opioid abuse, in a culturally competent manner,” Dr. Button said.

Fourth-year dental students begin their two-week community-based rotations on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018, at the following Indiana locations:

  • Eskenazi Health Center, Cottage Corner, Indianapolis
  • Eskenazi Health Center, Grassy Creek, Indianapolis
  • Eskenazi Health West 38th Street, Indianapolis
  • The Jane Pauley Community Dental Center, Indianapolis
  • HealthLinc Community Health Centers, Valparaiso and Michigan City
  • Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic, Fort Wayne
  • Wabash Valley Health Center, Terre Haute

IU’s dental students also will rotate through the new Stone Family Center for Health Sciences in Evansville in October 2018.

The HRSA funding is a four-year grant beginning Sept. 1, 2018, and ending Aug. 31, 2022. HRSA has granted $1,592,502, and IUSD is matching the grant with $709,096, for total funding of $2,301,598.

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