February 01, 2024
Investment supports increased access to dental care and education for underserved Oklahomans
BOSTON, Feb. 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., today announced a $25,000 contribution to the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. The donation is supporting the college's Indigent Care Fund, which helps provide dental care for patients unable to afford the cost of treatment, and the Community-Based Dental Education Fund, which offers financial support to dental students during their required externship rotations in underserved communities.
This donation is DentaQuest's most recent investment to support efforts to diversify and expand the dental workforce. According to a report published by the American Dental Association, Oklahoma does not have enough dentists to support the state's population, with almost 48 oral health care providers per 100,000 people compared to 61 nationally. Continuing to increase workforce pathways to dental careers is an important part to growing the dental profession and ensuring access to oral health care for all.
"We are grateful to DentaQuest for its generosity in supporting programs here at the OU College of Dentistry," said Dean Paul Mullasseril, DDS, MS. "Through its support of our indigent care programs, we are ensuring that patients from underserved communities are receiving the treatment that they desperately need, and at the same time, ensuring that our students are getting the learning experiences needed to be successful practitioners. DentaQuest is also helping our students reach patients in rural communities across Oklahoma through our Community Based Dentistry Education program, which coordinates our externship program throughout the state. The school's mission is to treat people and train dentists and we are grateful to DentaQuest's support to help us accomplish both."
The OU College of Dentistry's mission is to improve the health of Oklahomans and shape the future of dentistry by developing highly qualified dental practitioners and scientists through excellence in education, patient care, research, community service, faculty and facilities.
"Increasing access to dental care, particularly in underserved communities, is critical to reversing the troubling oral health trends we are seeing in Oklahoma," said Dr. Jandra Korb, DentaQuest's dental director in Oklahoma. "At DentaQuest, we know that investing in community-based care must be a priority and we're proud to support the work the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry is doing to increase opportunities for Oklahomans across the state. As a proud alumnus of the dental school, I'm excited to watch these dental students participate in community-based opportunities that will benefit the surrounding community."
DentaQuest is currently a leading dental insurance provider in the state and is preparing to manage dental benefits under contract with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Beginning this month, DentaQuest will be one of two vendors to administer benefits for the more than 770,000 Medicaid-enrolled eligible adults and children statewide.
Prior to this contribution, DentaQuest has supported a number of Oklahoma community-based non-profits including Good Shepherd Clinic, Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma, Neighborhood Services Organization, Oklahoma Dental Association and Oklahoma Oral Health Coalition.
DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors. As one of the nation's largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations. Learn more at www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
About the OU College of Dentistry
The OU College of Dentistry is home to the state's only Doctor of Dental Surgery program and baccalaureate degree program in dental hygiene. More than 70% of the state of Oklahoma's dentists are graduates of the OU College of Dentistry. The college provides general dental care and specialty care to Oklahomans through student, resident and faculty practice clinics. The OU College of Dentistry has established a reputation of training its students to provide the highest quality of clinical care available.
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SOURCE DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S.