Delta Dental of Rhode Island was recognized by the Rhode Island Department of Health for its support of the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program.

The Rhode Island Department of Health recognized Delta Dental of Rhode Island for its long-term support of the Health Professional Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP), a program that has helped incentivize dozens of young professionals to launch and grow their careers in Rhode Island.

Launched in 2015, the HPLRF is a statewide program supported by both public and private funding that aims to improve access to care and address disparities in health through the recruitment and retention of qualified professionals providing healthcare services in traditionally underserved communities. The program offers loan repayment assistance to licensed primary care, mental health and dental clinicians who commit to working for at least two years in Rhode Island’s community health centers.

Delta Dental of Rhode Island has provided roughly $500,000 in financial support to this initiative since its inception.

“We are strongly committed to workforce development in Rhode Island’s healthcare sector and the delivery of high quality, accessible and affordable dental care for all Rhode Islanders,” said Joseph R. Perroni, president and chief executive officer, Delta Dental of Rhode Island. “We’ve made bold investments in the healthcare industry and its workforce. The Health Professional Loan Repayment Program’s innovative approach is one of many reasons talented, young professionals are choosing to study, work, and stay right here in Rhode Island. We are proud to support it, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside our partners and colleagues to build on Rhode Island’s health care workforce development momentum.”

According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, the HPLRP has made 233 awards totaling more than $7.8 million since its launch. Recipients have included 37 doctors, 41 dentists, 50 registered nurses, and 45 behavioral health clinicians. In 2023, the program provided loan repayment to 24 healthcare professionals.

“We applaud the Rhode Island Department of Health, state lawmakers at every level of government, and our fellow donors from the state’s public, private and nonprofit sectors for continuing to prioritize this program year after year,” said Perroni.

Delta Dental of Rhode Island’s support of the HPLRP is one of many ways the organization is working to strengthen the future of Rhode Island’s oral healthcare workforce. Among other initiatives, Delta Dental of Rhode Island also recently worked with the Community College of Rhode Island to launch a scholarship program to benefit students at its Dental Hygiene School, and recently partnered with the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center to work toward launching Rhode Island’s first-ever Oral Surgery Residency Program.