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Dental care measure passes State Senate

ALBANY  – The State Senate has passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, which would add dentists to the state's "Doctors Across New York" program, Young reported Tuesday.

The bill would allow the State Department of Health to recruit and provide financial incentives for dentists to work in communities that lack dental care.

"We have a real shortage of dentists in both rural areas and inner cities, which creates a serious public health problem," Young said. "We should be providing dentists with education loan forgiveness in exchange for a commitment to practice in underserved communities, as we do doctors." She urged the Assembly to pass the measure.

This year, Young obtained $250,000 in state funds for the Rural Dentistry Pilot Program, run in conjunction with the University at Buffalo Dental School, which provides mobile dental services to youngsters in 30 schools and several Head Start locations in rural parts of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. She also obtained $100,000 for a rural dental demonstration program conducted by the New York State Dental Association.

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