Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dental school presentations go before BOG committee today

A Florida Board of Governors (BOG) committee will hear FAMU’s dental school proposal presentation during its meeting today in Miami. FAMU’s bid for a College of Dental Medicine recently picked up support from the Tallahassee City Commission and Leon County Commission, which both passed resolutions that endorsed the university’s request.

The University of Central Florida will also make a pitch for its own dental school today, which it says it will build and operate without any state funding. The University of Florida plans to solicit the BOG’s support for expanding its current College of Dentistry.

Up to this point, the BOG has been cool toward the idea of establishing a new public dental school. Its staffers have concluded that there are already enough dentists in Florida.

A recent report by the Florida Department of Health says that although the state will have enough dentists to serve the needs of its population in upcoming decades, rural counties and Medicaid patients will continue to be underserved. Low Medicaid reimbursement rates are a major reason behind the lack dental service to Florida’s poorer residents.

FAMU plans to use a targeted recruitment program and a low tuition rate to help enroll students who are likely to open practices in rural counties and treat Medicaid patients.

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