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Closing the Gap on Dental HPSAs: Louisiana Oral Health Workforce Assessment

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded the Louisiana Department of health (LDH), Office of Public Health (OPH), Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health (BPCRH) a state grant to support the Louisiana Oral Health Workforce Expansion Program granted in 2016. Goals of the Program included:

1. Establish a Dental Rural Scholars Track Program (RST)

2. Establish an Oral Health Recruitment Project

3. Conduct a dental needs assessment

In order to understand the challenges and successes related to oral health in Louisiana and trying to identify how the entire health care community can more effectively address oral health needs, particularly in Health Professional Shortage Areas, the Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health undertook a comprehensive assessment of the oral health system in Louisiana. The Bureau of Performance Improvement of the Office of Public Health provided oversight of the assessment with assistance from the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) for project management, additional data collection and analysis, and report creation.

The purpose of Closing the Gap on Dental HPSAs: Louisiana Oral Health Workforce Assessment is to assist Louisiana in preparing for future oral health needs, with a focus on identifying and verifying issues that may affect the delivery of oral health services to vulnerable populations.