Pipeline Goes Statewide: BU’s Dental School Will Expand Children’s Health Education Programs with $2.1 Million Federal Grant

in BU In the Community, Goldman School of Dental Medicine, News Releases
September 1st, 2009

Contact: Jackie Rubin, 617/638-4892 | jackier@bu.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 1, 2009

(Boston) – Minority and poor children who dream of becoming dentists or dental health professionals are one giant leap closer to making that happen today as BU’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) prepares to expand three pipeline programs to children statewide.

A $2.1 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Career Opportunities Program (HCOP) grant will help GSDM implement the programs, previously available only in Boston, in locations throughout Massachusetts. This is the School’s first federal grant for its pipeline programs, which have previously received support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The programs—Program White Coat, Boston Area Health Education Center, and Delta Dental of Massachusetts Scholars Program—intend to build a pipeline of underserved children who will pursue dental health careers and treat patients in underserved communities.

“Our goal for the pipeline programs has been consistent: to encourage a more diverse pool of health professionals who will, in turn, treat patients who have little or no access to oral health care,” said GSDM Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. “We have met this goal extraordinarily well in Boston and I am delighted that the Goldman School will now extend its outreach to underserved communities throughout Massachusetts.”

Program White Coat is a weeklong program for children ages nine to 11 that introduces dentistry as a career option. Participants are “dentists for a week,” exploring dentistry through educational lessons, role-playing, and field trips.

Through Boston Public Health Commission, Boston Area Health Education Center offers paid internships at GSDM to high school students interested in the health sciences.

Delta Dental of Massachusetts Scholars Program is a scholarship that provides half tuition for dental school. Recipients agree to practice in an underserved Massachusetts community or teach full-time for a period of time after graduation.

Programs will appear in Massachusetts communities later this year, with the first to be located in Springfield because of the town’s high number of minority and economically disadvantaged populations.

The mission of Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine is to provide excellent education to dental professionals throughout their careers; to shape the future of dental medicine and dental education through research; to offer excellent health care services to the community; to participate in community activities; and to foster a respectful and supportive environment.

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