Ohio dentist works with lawmakers to help alleviate workforce shortages

An Ohio dentist recently turned to legislators for help improving workforce shortages in the state, ABC affiliate News5 Cleveland reported May 11.

Thomas Kelly, DDS, past president of the Ohio Dental Association, told the news station that retention rates for dental hygienists, assistants, administrative staff, receptionists, schedule assistants and expanded function dental auxiliaries became an issue in 2015 but were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Dr. Kelly added that training programs for dental hygienists and assistants in the state did not recover quickly. The programs also cannot meet the demand to fill vacant roles at dental offices in the state, the news organization reported.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership, an economic development organization, was awarded $5.8 million in federal funding in 2022 to combat workforce shortages, but the dental apprenticeship program does not start until in the fall.

Dr. Kelly visited state representatives to discuss how to improve shortages and increase funding for dental training.

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