GLENDALE, Ariz. (March 23, 2023) — Delta Dental of Arizona, in partnership with the Delta Dental Institute, is pleased to announce Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce, a new campaign to help increase the number of oral health professionals from historically underrepresented groups.
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.
“As part of our mission to provide a path to better health and wellness, it is imperative to investigate alternative ways to reduce the challenges associated with poor outcomes and restricted access. Facilitating a more diverse workforce is another mechanism to accomplish this objective”, said Michael Jones, president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Arizona.
The Delta Dental Institute's campaign will drive toward a more diverse oral health workforce by establishing the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund, and by supporting initiatives in oral health education, research, and community investment.
The Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce campaign will:
Engage with our communities: Delta Dental will continue its focus on supporting historically underrepresented groups by conducting outreach to students of all ages to elevate the importance of oral health to overall health and to introduce the possibility of a career in the oral health professions.
“In looking locally, in 2022 alone, Delta Dental of Arizona was proud to serve as a presenting sponsor of the National Dental Association’s 2022 Health Now community outreach event. We also sponsored 16 public health providers and 38 diverse dental students to attend the 2022 National Dental Association in Phoenix,” said Jones. “We were also a major sponsor of the 2nd Diversity in Dentistry Youth Summit, which hosted 50 middle and high school students from Tucson Unified School District at A.T. Still University in Mesa.”
According to Jones, during the Summit, students from historically underrepresented groups come to make an impact on the diversity in dentistry, and the event provides students with hands-on experience in the lab, shadowing, classroom work, and a final ceremony.
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 Delta Dental of Arizona
Delta Dental of Arizona is the leading dental benefits provider in Arizona, serving more than 1.3 million enrollees and more than 3,700 contracted dentists across the state. Passionate about oral health and its importance to generations of families, Delta Dental of Arizona has worked for over 50 years to improve oral health by emphasizing preventive care and making dental coverage accessible to a wide variety of employers, groups, and individuals. Since 2010, Delta Dental of Arizona, through its Foundation, gave over $16 million to support oral health education and disease prevention programs for underserved and uninsured communities across the state. For more information about Delta Dental of Arizona, visit www.deltadentalaz.com.