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$250,000 in scholarships from GEHA will help UMKC dental school address 'dental deserts'

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In collaboration with the UMKC School of Dentistry, GEHA has provided 15 students with dental scholarships.

The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of dentists. While this isn't the case in every community, the Kansas City region has plenty of "dental deserts."

Any area with less than one dentist for every 5,000 people is classified as a dental health professional shortage area.

With a hefty donation of $250,000 to fund scholarships at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, GEHA is hoping to address these shortages through higher education. The financial aid also aims to attract a more diverse workforce to the dental field, which is overwhelmingly white.

KCUR's Up To Date was joined by an assistant dean from the UMKC School of Dentistry and a scholarship recipient to learn about what these dollars mean to them.

  • Richie Bigham, assistant dean for student programs at the UMKC School of Dentistry
  • Jessica Woods, UMKC dental hygiene student and scholarship recipient

KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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