Bulletin of Dental Education

Pacific Center for Special Care Awarded $2.1 Million State Oral Health Workforce Grant

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Submitted by the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

A demonstration of the Virtual Dental Home project. (Photo courtesy University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry)The Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently received a $2.1 million grant from the California Department of Public Health for a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded state oral health workforce project. This is the second of two such HRSA grants awarded to the Pacific Center for Special Care for a total funding of $4 million.

Dr. Paul Glassman, Professor of Dental Practice and Director of the Pacific Center for Special Care, is the principal investigator on both grants and will continue to spearhead project efforts.

The purpose of the state workforce grants is to improve the oral health of underserved California populations through a combination of workforce and policy initiatives. Currently the Pacific Center is working with a number of partners on a number of projects including the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and the Center for Oral Health (COH).

The funding supports: expansion of the Center's Virtual Dental Home demonstration project, a program for health centers to train extended function dental assistants in-house, a project managed by COH to bring oral health preventative care programs to Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) centers, and policy work by CPCA to facilitate health center dental departments participating in programs to bring oral health services to community sites.

“These grants are a great mechanism to expand oral health services into community sites at a time when so many services are being reduced or eliminated," said Glassman. "The funding is also important to be able to demonstrate innovative ways to bring oral health services to community sites and reach populations of children and adults who face significant barriers to accessing dental services in traditional offices and clinic settings."

The first of the two State Oral Health Workforce grants will be in effect until 2013 and the second until 2014.

Duggan ad 2013