In a move to help expand the U.S. health care workforce, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that they awarded $55.5 million in FY 2013 to strengthen training for health professionals and increase the size of the nation’s health care workforce. The 270+ grants are targeted to address workforce needs in nursing, public health, behavioral health, health workforce development, and dentistry.
While a majority of the funding ($45.4 million) is being directed to support nursing workforce development, there are several grant programs that will bring focus to and have an impact on access to dental care. Within the $45.4 million funding package, $6.7 million is being directed to grants promoting inter-professional collaborative practice to foster innovative practice models for providing care. Separate from the nursing funds an additional $3.1 million in grants will help state designated dental health professional shortage areas develop and implement innovative programs to address dental workforce needs. The HHS grants require states to match at least 40 percent of the grant funding or provide equivalent support.
A complete copy of the HHS press release on their 2013 grant initiative is available, as is a complete list of specific HHS grants.