Upcoming dental school launches rural medicine scholarship

The University of Pikeville (Ky.) partnered with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Medical in Kentucky to create a scholarship program for its upcoming dental school.

The Anthem Dental Rural Medical Scholarship at UPIKE's Tanner College of Dental Medicine will provide financial support to dental students that are committed to providing oral healthcare services in rural communities in eastern Kentucky, according to a June 7 news release from the university. 

Many states across the U.S. are facing shortages of dental providers, especially in rural areas. According to a study from personal finance website WalletHub, Kentucky ranks 43rd in the U.S. for dental health and 49th in adult dental visits. 

Since 2021, Anthem has awarded nearly $1 million to improve access to healthcare in rural areas throughout Kentucky through partnerships with other universities and institutions in the state, the release said.

The university plans to have its first cohort of dental students on campus in June 2026.

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