Diversity Council Initiated
Interim Dean Gary Chiodo, D.M.D. `78, F.A.C.D., has announced a plan to form and convene a School of Dentistry Diversity Council. The goal of the Diversity Council will be to explore ways to increase the diversity of the SOD student body and faculty. Dr. Chiodo said that the council will have "real work" to do, including a review of current federal funds that are available for disadvantaged students and for those who are interested in practicing in health professional shortage areas. As examples, Dr. Chiodo pointed to the $44 million in Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funds that were available in 2011.In the same year, the National Health Service made $169 million available as a loan repayment program for dentists who would provide culturally competent care in shortage areas. "These are the types of funding programs that can be tapped to help defray the substantial cost of a dental education and attract under-represented minority students to the profession and to OHSU," said Dr. Chiodo.Dr. Chiodo said OHSU Provost Jeanette Mladenovic, M.D., M.B.A., recently allocated a one-time grant to the dental school for recruitment of under-represented minorities that enroll in the Class of 2017. "This is exciting because we can finally take action on something we've been talking about for a long time," said Dr. Chiodo. "Graduating diverse people may also help us boost diversity within our faculty, particularly if we can persuade new graduates to stay at OHSU after graduation."