From left, Rep. Rocky Adkins, Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson, Earl Gohl, Appalachian Regional
Commission co-chair , U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, MSU President Wayne D. Andrews, and Tony Wilder,
commissioner of the Department for Local Government.
U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers and Earl Gohl, Appalachian Regional Commission, co-chair, today (Wednesday, Aug. 6) presented a $500,000 grant to continue the work of the Appalachian Rural Dental Educational Program.
Morehead State University and the University of Kentucky, through its College of Dentistry, first partnered in Sept. 2011for the creation of the Appalachian Rural Dental Educational Program.
Its goal was to train more dentists to practice in rural areas and give them the tools necessary to set up thriving dental practices in eastern Kentucky.
Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson, Rep. Rocky Adkins, the majority leader; Tony Wilder, commissioner of the Department for Local Government; MSU President Wayne D. Andrews, Rep. Rogers and Gohl, took part in a ceremony at the Morehead Conference Center.
“This is another example of how collaboration between educational institutions can benefit citizens of Kentucky,” Dr. Andrews said. “A lot of hard work by both universities went into this, and we are extremely proud to be able to offer this program. Dental health is very important to our overall health, and we know that many people are struggling to afford dental treatment at the moment, so the program will undoubtedly improve access to dental car
According to Dr. Andrews, “Maintaining proper dental care is a fundamental health matter that affects every Kentuckian, yet not every Kentuckian has access to adequate dental treatment.”
The Appalachian Rural Dental Educational Program is funded by an ARC grant, as well as funding from UK and MSU.
“It’s a wonderful program that we are thrilled to see continue,” said Rep. Rogers. “As we have seen during our Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR)’s health impact series, dental care is one of the challenges facing this region.”
The partnership’s main goals are to (1) design and implement an educational program to increase the number of practicing dentists in Appalachia through enhanced training, recruitment and educational assistance, (2) provide a campus-based student oral health awareness program, and (3) create a pipeline of potential students interested in dental education from the ARC counties. Through the ARDEP’s implementation, potential dental care providers will not only have a broader understanding of the benefits of improved oral health and have access to high-quality oral health education, but they will also be prepared to operate financially sound rural dental practices.
“This will help the third step of the program for high school and college students to become dentists,” said Gohl. “Morehead State and UK have worked well together on the first two goals. We (ARC) think it’s a great investment of federal funds that will have returns for eastern Kentucky.”
Counties that will be served by the program are Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.
Additional information is available by contacting Dr. Gerald DeMoss, MSU’s academic affairs liaison, at 606-783-2623.
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