Ohio dentists took the lead

Ohio dentists took the lead

I would like to comment on a guest editorial that ran on The Vindicator editorial page.

It profiled a program set up by West Virginia University to encourage new graduates of dental school to practice in “areas of great need.” The program gives student loan forgiveness through a federal grant to practice in less desirable areas. These areas are termed Federally Qualified Health shortage areas. They are typically located in rural areas or areas where the average annual income is less than 200 percent of the poverty level.

I would like your readers to be aware that in 2003 the Ohio Dental Association of which the local dental society, Corydon Palmer Dental Association, is a member, lobbied and passed legislation which imposes a $20 fee to the biennial registration of each licensed dentist to support student loan forgiveness for newly licensed dentists to practice in these areas in the state of Ohio.

This program has been in effect since 2004 with the first awards given in 2005. Although, the dentists of Corydon Palmer Dental Society commend the efforts of West Virginia University, we wish to make it known that we personally fund a similar program in the state of Ohio and did so voluntarily.

Dr. Marybeth Shaffer, D.M.D., Columbiana

The writer is president of the Corydon Palmer Dental Society.