Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2019
Grant Amount: $46,660
The MSU Office of Rural Health increased the capacity of current Montana-Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) Program sites and added additional sites. The RIDE Program creates systems to educate and train dental students from the University of Washington in rural and underserved communities in Montana. This project analyzed the capacity of current RIDE sites, developed new sites in Crow Agency, Hardin, Lame Deer, and Browning, helped create created quality clinical experiences for dental students, offered faculty and preceptor development training, and developed a collaborative model of education. In 2019, the eight RIDE students provided more than 6,300 dental procedures in regional clinics (regional clinics serve children and patients below 200% federal poverty level). To date, 79% of RIDE-trained dentists currently practice in rural and underserved areas. The partnership that the Office of Rural Health developed with the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center as part of this project was vital to developing new sites and systems to place students. The Montana Area Health Education Center will continue to integrate this pilot dental program with other nurse and resident training and residency programs.