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KDA president: 'A program addressing access to dentists'

February 23, 2012

By Craig Palmer, ADA News staff

Dr. Hal Hale, KDA President

Topeka, Kan.—”We know that for communities in our state to remain viable, three things are critical: Preserving good schools, maintaining our infrastructure and ensuring access to health care,” Dr. Hal Hale, Kansas Dental Association president, said in announcing the KIND initiative (see related story).

“We’re pleased to be unveiling a program we know can be effective in addressing access to dentists,” said Dr. Hale. “Loan repayment or forgiveness programs are a time-tested model when it comes to recruiting health care professionals in our state. Kansans have long benefitted from programs like the one we’re launching in attracting physicians, optometrists and other health care professionals to some of our more rural communities. That’s why we’re confident that the same success can be realized in bringing more dentists to rural areas.

“While in the past we have asked the state to fund a program to attract dentists to rural areas, we are fortunate to have found financial support for the effort from the Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation. Their generosity has enabled us to move forward now in launching what we’re calling the KIND program.”

Dr. Stan Wint, a member of the Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation Board of Directors, said that “Working with communities in the areas identified by the state, we hope the funding we’ve pledged can be further leveraged in successfully attracting dentists to these areas.

“We are pledging up to $150,000 a year for each of the next three years to support this initiative. Depending on the level of funding awarded, recipients will be required to make either a three- or four-year service agreement,” said Dr. Wint. “Mirroring a successful effort in Iowa, the Kansas initiative offers our state a proven program to help dentists locate in those areas.”