Delta Dental of Connecticut Supports Launch of National Campaign to Drive Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce
April 20, 2023 – Parsippany, NJ – In an effort to help increase the number of oral health professionals from historically underrepresented groups, Delta Dental of Connecticut is pleased to support Delta Dental Institute’s new campaign, Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce.
While racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals is linked to improved outcomes and greater health equity, the current oral health workforce does not reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. population. The Delta Dental Institute’s campaign will drive toward a more diverse oral health workforce by supporting initiatives in oral health education, research, and community investment, and establishing the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund.
“Supporting diversity in the oral health field is a priority for us both locally and nationally,” said Dennis G. Wilson, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Connecticut. “Since 1986, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation, which serves Connecticut, has worked to promote and assist educational projects devoted to the enhancement of dental health, especially in underserved communities. We are excited to work with the Delta Dental Institute to help make an impact in diversifying the oral health workforce.”
The Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce campaign will:
- Establish the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund: In its first year, the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund will make targeted investments up to $1 million in programs that inspire school-aged children from historically underrepresented groups to pursue a career in oral health.
- Support oral health higher education: Nationally, Delta Dental will continue its investment in the future of the oral health workforce through funding scholarships and infrastructure at minority-serving institutions.
- Propel new research: The Delta Dental Institute sponsored the Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s new research on the oral health workforce.
- Engage with our communities: Nearly a quarter of Delta Dental’s community investments across the country are dedicated to oral health education and workforce development.
“It’s important to recruit as many historically underrepresented people into the dental workforce as possible,” said Dr. George McLaughlin, DMD, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation chair and Delta Dental of New Jersey board member. “I’ve been advocating for greater diversity in the dental field for more than 30 years, and it makes a difference because patients tend to look for providers who look like them. As a person of color, I understand firsthand the barriers people in my community face regarding accessing dental care. I am hopeful that this campaign will help inspire future generations and create a more diverse workforce in our field.”
For those interested in applying to the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund and learning more about this campaign, please visit www.deltadentalinstitute.com/fund. Eligible applicants must be based in the United States, and may include 501(c)3 organizations, private businesses, or limited or general partnerships.
About the Delta Dental Institute
The Delta Dental Institute is dedicated to advancing oral health for all Americans in partnership with Delta Dental companies and dedicated partners across the country. With expertise rooted in Delta Dental’s rich history of oral health leadership, we engage in and support oral health research, community outreach, and advocacy, striving to ensure that everyone understands the importance of oral health to overall health and has access to the care they need. Visit deltadentalinstitute.com for more information.