The Delta Dental Institute pledged up to $1 million in annual support diversity initiatives that inspire students to choose a career in oral health.

For World Oral Health Day, the Delta Dental Institute reaffirmed its commitment to fostering diversity within the oral health workforce and advancing health equity.

Delta Dental announced that it was reopening the Oral Health Diversity Fund’s for applications, and pledging up to $1 million annually to support innovative initiatives to inspire students from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in oral health.

Importance of Diversity in Healthcare

According to the company, diversity within healthcare professionals has been correlated with improved patient outcomes, yet the current oral health workforce lacks adequate representation from various racial and ethnic groups, failing to mirror the communities they serve.

As a result, James W. Hutchison, president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental Plans Association, emphasized the importance of enhancing diversity within the oral health workforce.

“Increasing the diversity of the oral health workforce is essential to improving oral and overall health outcomes,” said Hutchison. “As the largest oral health philanthropist in the nation, Delta Dental remains steadfast in its commitment to investing in programs that encourage minority students to explore opportunities within oral health professions.”

Oral Health Diversity Fund Applications

  • The application window for the Oral Health Diversity Fund is open from March 20 to May 31 at 5:00 pm ET.
  • Interested parties can apply by visiting the fund’s online site.
  • Eligible applicants, which include 501(c)(3) organizations, private businesses, and partnerships, must be based in the United States.

The announcement aligns with the Delta Dental Institute’s ongoing initiative, Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce campaign, aimed at bolstering the representation of underrepresented groups within oral health professions. Through education, research, and community engagement, the campaign strives to broaden the diversity of the oral health workforce and create a more inclusive healthcare landscape.