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Rio Salado College Offers Community Dental Health Coordinator Program

Course Designed to Increase Access to Dental Care

July 28, 2015

Contact Information:
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO — Rio Salado College in Tempe, Ariz., is offering an online certificate program that trains community health workers to help bring better dental health to people in underserved communities.

Classes for the Community Dental Health Coordinator (CDHC) program, created by the American Dental Association (ADA) in 2006, begin on Aug. 25. The class is limited to certified dental assistants and registered dental hygienists. The registration deadline is Aug. 1, but may be extended, provided students have most requirements fulfilled by Aug. 1.

CDHCs are trained to provide oral health education and disease prevention, and to help people navigate the public health system to receive care from dentists. Rio Salado College hosted the initial ADA CDHC pilot program, from which 34 people graduated.

Mattia College in Miami and Central New Mexico Community College in Albuquerque also are offering the CDHC program.

“CDHCs truly are making headway in improving access to care for people living in communities suffering disproportionately from dental disease,” said ADA President Dr. Maxine Feinberg. “We are excited about the extent to which these future CDHCs can help break down the barriers impeding people from attaining good oral health.”

Rio Salado’s classes will take place during three 16-week trimesters, followed by internships. Approximately 10 students will be accepted.

The college is offering the program to prospective CDHC students in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia. 

“This program will not only be an asset to dentists in Arizona, but to dentists throughout the country,” said Arizona Dental Association Executive Director Kevin Earle. “We are thrilled that Rio Salado is again hosting this wonderful program, which will ensure that more Arizona residents, as well as others throughout the country, will be able to enjoy good oral health.”

For more information about the program, visit Rio Salado College’s website.

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 159,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org