Dental hygienists are integral partners in the health care delivery system. As one of the premier dental schools in the country, Penn Dental Medicine is proud of the more than 1600 graduates of our Dental Hygiene program. While our program is no longer training dental hygiene practitioners, we remain committed to partnering with alumni and colleagues in the profession to pursue common goals such as health promotion, disease prevention, improving access to care, and advancing evidence-based practice.
Through the generosity of an alumna from the PDM dental hygiene program, a new fund has been established to support one or more Dental Hygiene (DH) Scholars. The DH Scholar will be a PA-licensed hygienist who is available to work on site at the dental school to collaborate on a research project with a Penn Dental Medicine faculty member.
Proceeds from the Dental Hygiene Research and Innovation Fund will:
- Provide a stipend for the DH Scholar (up to 8 hours a week, for 6-12 months depending on the study needs)
- Contribute to the costs of mounting a valuable research project (i.e. cover patient recruitment stipends, supplies, etc).
The DH Scholar will be invited to present an overview of the project at the annual DH Alumni meeting. The DH Scholar will also be invited to present the project at other PDM events, such as the Annual Research Day, and will have the opportunity to be listed as a collaborator on papers that may result from the project.
Dental hygienists are essential to providing optimum oral health care to patients. Through the creation of this Fund, Penn Dental Medicine is issuing a call to action to our dental faculty to explore the many ways dental hygienists contribute to patient wellbeing and can be partners in improving dental practice and outcomes.