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Pitt dental school aims to reduce oral health disparities with $2M grant

July 24, 2015 Pittsburgh — The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine announced July 21 it received a five-year, $2 million Title VII grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
    
The funding will support the expansion of the current residency program in pediatric dentistry to include two multidisciplinary program tracks specializing in the care of patients in underserved rural settings and special needs populations. One track focuses on providing advanced dental care to the special needs community; the second focuses on dental public health policy and practices for children in rural and underserved areas.
    
"We will aim to improve the quality and quantity of available dental health workforce in rural and underserved regions of western Pennsylvania, specially in northern Appalachia where there is a shortage of oral health professionals," said Dr. Deborah Studen-Pavlovich, chair of pediatric dentistry and program director for the Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program.
    
The grant will support two pediatric dental residents who express a desire to pursue advanced training in pediatric dentistry and dental public health with an emphasis on rural, disadvantage and special needs populations. Graduates of the expanded program will receive a certificate in pediatric dentistry as well as a multidisciplinary Masters of Public Health degree.