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Brent Lin, DMD, Receives HRSA Grant to Improve Dental Primary Care

October 26, 2015

Brent Lin, DMD, professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry, has received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to develop and implement collaborative oral health training for primary health care providers and prepare the workforce to care for those in underserved, rural and vulnerable populations.

The project, Predoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene, will be a collaborative effort among health care providers in Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Medicine and Nursing at the primary care facilities of UCSF, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals, the Native American Health Center and Chabot College.

“We’re very grateful for the opportunity provided by HRSA to create a program that will benefit our predoctoral health care professional students and also address the access of care and oral health disparity issues among the underserved communities,” says Dr. Lin. The five-year grant totals $1,750,000.

An uneven distribution of dental care providers in the State of California has led to a shortage of providers in some areas and oversaturation in others. Even in communities where there’s a dentist, state assistance health care programs, such as Medi-Cal or Denti-Cal, may not be accepted.

In addition, many community-based clinics are staffed with primary medical care providers, nurse practitioners or physician assistants, without provision for dental service or an oral health component. Therefore, collaboration with colleagues in primary care is critical to providing oral health information, dental disease prevention and timely referral for oral health evaluation.

The program will also establish and implement a curriculum that emphasizes pediatric dental care, community-based practice and treatment of special needs children for dental hygiene students.