Research to Improve Oral Health of the Nation’s Population
Access to oral health care has become a growing concern over the past decade. Despite efforts to improve the oral health of the nation’s population, oral health disparities persist. These disparities are characterized by compromised oral health status, particularly among certain vulnerable populations. One of the factors believed to influence access to oral health services and contribute to these disparities is the availability of a workforce equipped to meet the need for preventive and basic restorative oral health services. An available, competent, and well-distributed workforce is required to assure access to needed oral health services.
The Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) is based at the Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) at the School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York. OHWRC is one of 7 health workforce research centers in the country, but the only one uniquely focused on the oral health workforce. The goal of OHWRC is to provide research on the oral health workforce to assist in future health workforce planning.
OHWRC was formed as a partnership between CHWS and the Healthforce Center at the University of California, San Francisco. It was initially funded through a 3-year cooperative agreement with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the US Department of Health and Human Services. In September of 2017, cooperative agreement funding was renewed for an additional 5 years.