Grant to help train predoctoral dental students

The School of Dentistry has been awarded a $1.46 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for training predoctoral dental students.  The project will be conducted by principal nvestigator Dr. Jeffery Hicks and participating investigator, Dr. Kevin Donly.

The federal funding will enable the School of Dentistry to conduct activities to produce a quality health care workforce of generalist dentists to provide oral health care to patients aged 0-5 years. including vulnerable and underserved populations.  Student clinical experiences will include training in a Federally Qualified Health Care Center and working in interprofessional groups to improve patient care outcomes. Additionally, students will be provided training in counseling to address childhood obesity.

Childhood obesity has been identified by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a social determinant of health affecting overall health, including the health of the oral cavity.  Children with obesity also are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases that impact physical health, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes and risk factors for heart disease.

Other faculty helping to conduct project activities include School of Nursing faculty Adelita Cantu, RN, PhD and School of Dentistry faculty Claudia Contreras, D.D.S., Maria Jose Cervantes, D.D.S., and John Littlefield, Ph.D.

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