Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Loan forgiveness for dentists

Published (3/7/2008)
By Patty Ostberg
Share on: 

The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill March 4 that would expand a loan forgiveness program for dental hygienists and registered dental assistants.

HF3254, sponsored by Rep. Loren Solberg (DFL-Grand Rapids), would instruct the Department of Health to develop a loan forgiveness or scholarship program for dental hygienists and registered dental assistants that agree “to provide dental hygiene services in an underserved or designated rural area in Minnesota.”

The program would award up to three scholarships a year to internationally trained dental students who enroll in the Program for Advance Standing Students at the University of Minnesota Dental School and current dental school students. Upon graduation, the students would have to provide dental services through a nonprofit organization, community clinic or federally qualified community health center for three years. Scholarships awarded under the program would be at least $30,000 each year that the graduates provide care.

Solberg said it would be a cost-effective way of keeping dental professionals in rural areas.

Todd Tsuchiya, testifying for the Minnesota Dental Association, said the scholarship program “can target dental services to patients who are most in need.” Educational costs for dental students are very high and the program could help recruit students, he said.

A feasibility study would be required on the creation and use of community dental health coordinators to provide dental care access and education to specific populations in need of dental care under state programs.

A dental advisory committee would be developed to plan the implementation of statewide dental administration. The committee would include providers, representatives from private dental practices, community clinics, public health and the human services commissioner.

The bill now goes to the House Finance Committee.

A companion bill, SF3122, sponsored by Sen. John Doll (DFL-Burnsville), awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

At Issue: On the forefront
Minnesota looks to set the national stage for health care reform
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

At Issue: Health reform still in play
Governor nixes months of work; supporters remain optimistic
(view full story) Published 5/16/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on elder Minnesotans
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008

At Issue: Regulating patient safety
Hospitals sometimes choose between more nurses or rationing care
(view full story) Published 4/25/2008

At Issue: Hungry for help
Food shelf needs are growing across state
(view full story) Published 4/18/2008

At Issue: No rooms for those in crisis
Psychiatric beds are full, but solutions are as complex as the problem
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

At Issue: An umbrella of coverage
A year in the making, health care proposal lays out an aggressive timeline
(view full story) Published 3/21/2008

At Issue: Primary care — your life depends on it
A system overhaul is needed, working on a solution
(view full story) Published 3/7/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on health insurance in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 2/29/2008