Proposed Oregon bill allocates $20M to recruit dental hygienists and assistants

A proposed bill in Oregon to allocate $20 million for programs to recruit dental hygienists and assistants is being considered in the state House, according to a Feb. 13 report by Oregon Capital Chronicle

The state had 5,480 dental assistant openings in 2022, nine percent of which were vacant. There were also twice as many open positions as there were newly certified professionals, the report said. 

Here are the five different programs and initiatives the funding would go toward:

1. $7 million to the Oregon Health Authority to create incentives and grants to retain current employees and recruit new staff.

2. $5 million to the Oregon Department of Education as grants for school districts to provide high school students with technical and career education programs.

3. $5 million in grants for community college scholarships to award to students in dental hygiene and dental assistant programs. 

4. $2 million to the State Workforce and Talent Development Board to create a free education program for dental assistants. 

5. $1 million to the Oregon Health Authority for an education and mentor program for tribal members. 

Two of the chief sponsors for the bill are Cyrus Javadi, DDS, and Hai Pham, DMD. The bill was discussed in the House Behavioral Health and Health Care Committee on Feb. 13. 

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