PRESTONSBURG – Representatives from Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) signed a memorandum of agreement on Monday, Oct. 26 to establish the state’s first Community Dental Hygiene Coordinator program.
“This program brings a value-added service to the dentists that serve Eastern Kentucky,” said Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of BSCTC. “By establishing this program, we are elevating the lives of our students through the tools of education. It’s about changing our region – one opportunity, one student at a time.”
Community Dental Hygiene Coordinators (CDHC) offers outreach, community education and preventive services. Many CDHC’s are dental hygienists, dental assistants or community health workers.
“This program will provide a tremendous service to our region,” said Dr. Eric Dixon, coordinator of the dental hygiene program at BSCTC.
Dr. Jane Grover, with the ADA, said culture and society, health systems and education play a role in oral health literacy. That leads to healthy outcomes.
The CDHC curriculum focuses on screening and classification, prevention of periodontal and oral cancer, palliative care and financing and payment of dental services.
Myra Elliott, dean of academic affairs, said that the blend of dental and community health makes this program unique.
“Our program is community based rather than patient based,” said Elliott. “It also provides an opportunity to ease the anxiety of dental care and connects patients with dentists.”
For more information on the CDHC program, contact Linda Daniel at (606) 886-7352 or email [email protected]