With support from Molina Healthcare of Ohio, the MolinaCares Accord Dental Scholarship Program will increase access to dental care services among minorities in underserved communities across Ohio, according to the organization.
Black adults suffer from untreated dental disease twice as frequently as their White counterparts, and Hispanic adults are one-and-a-half times as likely, according to the MolinaCares Accord.
Also, people in low-income communities are a hundred times more likely to experience difficulties doing their job because of oral health conditions and are 200 times more likely to have oral pain than those at higher incomes, the organization continued.
“The MolinaCares Accord is focused on building stronger communities and addressing racial disparities in healthcare,” said Ami Cole, plan president, of Molina Healthcare of Ohio.
“The Dental Scholarship Program will increase the number of Black and other minority dentists serving low-income communities across the state and help expand access to dental care for people in these communities, especially among minorities who typically use these services more when they are provided by minority dentists,” Cole said.
Starting in fall 2021, the MolinaCares Accord will fund scholarships at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Ohio State University College of Dentistry for candidates that support diversity.
The scholarships represent a $1.4 million investment over four years and will be awarded to one student admitted and enrolled in each of the four class years at both schools. Recipients will be asked to practice dentistry upon graduation in a dental shortage area of Ohio and serve indigent patients, including through Medicaid.