Making it possible to make a difference
The weight of student loan debt can make a career in public or community health nearly impossible for new dentists. To offset some of the financial burden, the CDA Foundation awards selected recent dental school/specialty graduates with grants toward repaying their educational loan of up to $35,000 per year for a maximum of $105,000 over three years in exchange for a commitment by recipients to care for the underserved. Often, it’s the difference that makes the impossible, possible.
Program goals are designed to immediately reduce barriers to access oral health care services in targeted underserved communities and populations as well as establish an ongoing mechanism to provide dental professionals an opportunity to reduce their financial burden and to work in underserved communities.
Since 2002, the program has enabled 13 dentists to embrace their dream of working in public health and helped more than 58,000 patients in underserved communities receive nearly $16 million in care.
With a desire to provide patients with quality dental care regardless of their financial status, 2012 Student Loan Repayment Grant recipient Dr. Kongsab Hatlavongsa now practices in a United Health Centers community health clinic in Mendota, California.