LANSING, Mich.— Qualified candidates interested in pursuing education in dental therapy can now apply for a unique scholarship opportunity thanks to the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA), the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (Health Fund).
Dental therapy is a long-awaited oral health profession recently added to Michigan’s oral health workforce to improve access to care within dentist shortage areas. Dental therapists are licensed providers that work under the remote supervision of a dentist to provide services such oral health assessments, cleanings, basic restorations and some extractions.
MPCA chief executive officer Phillip Bergquist said: “Dental therapists will improve health centers’ ability to carry out their missions to improve access to care for Michigan’s most vulnerable populations.
“The MPCA Dental Therapy Scholarship program will support a new oral health career option for individuals who are driven to serve communities in dental health professional shortage areas,” he stated. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support aspiring Michigan dental therapists through the scholarship program.”
“No Michigan college or university has an accredited dental therapy program yet,” added Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the DDF. “Until that happens, if we want dental therapy to succeed in Michigan, it’s on us to make it happen.”
The MPCA Dental Therapy Scholarship program will support the educational journeys of dental therapy students who plan to practice in Michigan upon graduation. These students will be recognized as trailblazers for Michigan’s dental therapy profession, and they will usher in a new model of accessible, high-quality care for systemically disadvantaged communities.
“Good oral health starts at home, and for the Health Fund that means strengthening the workforce in our own backyard,” says Laurie Solotorow, director of Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyles, at the Health Fund. “We’re proud to partner with the Delta Dental Foundation and MPCA to invest in dental therapists who want to serve their own communities and provide access to oral healthcare in underserved areas of the state.”
Qualified candidates may apply for up to $15,000 for each semester they are enrolled in a U.S. dental therapy program and must practice in Michigan for up to 36 months upon graduation. Scholarship applications will open on April 17 and close on May 12, 2023.
For complete eligibility requirements and scholarship application, please visit the MPCA Dental Therapy Scholarship program webpage for more information.
MPCA advocates to influence and advance health policy in Lansing and Washington, D.C., foster collaboration among our 44 health centers and with external partners, and support health centers in the continuous pursuit of high-quality, patient-centered services. As a fierce voice for members, our vision is equitable and just healthcare for all. Visit us online for more information.
The Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s mission is to improve the health of Michigan residents, with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors, while reducing the cost of health care. Please visit the Health Fund website for more information.
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. DDF is dedicated to developing and enhancing partnerships and programs to improve oral and overall health and health equity. For more information, visit www.deltadental.foundation.