GEHA Solutions Invests $150,000 Into Oral Health Equity Partnership With UMKC

WITHIN THE FIELDS OF DENTISTRY and dental hygiene, many communities of color are still underrepresented. According to the American Dental Association, fewer than 11% of American dentists come from African American/Black, Hispanic/ Latinx and American Indian/Alaska Native/Pacific Islander backgrounds, even though these groups make up more than 34% of the U.S. population. The lack of representation can affect health outcomes in a number of ways.

Lee’s Summit-based GEHA Solutions has committed to contributing $150,000 in scholarships at UMKC School of Dentistry to create meaningful, sustainable change in the area of oral health equity. The gift includes five $20,000 dental scholarships, five $5,000 dental hygiene scholarships and five $5,000 pre-dental fellowships to prepare rising dental school students for testing and interviews.

“GEHA Solutions and the School of Dentistry share a mutual interest in culturally diversifying the oral health workforce through the dental and dental hygiene programs at UMKC,” said Dean Steven Haas. “GEHA Solutions’ generosity will help alleviate some of our potential and current students’ financial burdens and allow them to better focus on their goals.”

This year’s GEHA Solutions Diversity in Dentistry and Dental Hygiene scholarships were awarded to five dental hygiene students in the Class of 2024 and five dental students in the Class of 2026 at the annual Scholarship Recognition Dinner on Oct. 3.