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The exterior of NEOMED in Rootstown, Ohio, on a sunny afternoon.

NEOMED receives $2 million from HHS to support College of Dentistry

Northeast Ohio Medical University was recently awarded $2 million for equipment and construction of the NEOMED Dental Clinic. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced his office secured these resources as part of the FY23 omnibus funding bill, which passed into law in December. As a result of Brown’s efforts, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide $2 million in congressionally directed spending to support the significant need for the training of more dental students — which requires access to a dental operatories. Once trained, the new dentists would help address the oral health needs of residents who live in Ohio.

“This investment will help grow our health care workforce in Ohio by equipping Northeast Ohio Medical University and its students with the equipment they need to provide high-quality dental care to communities in the region,” said Sen. Brown. “The best ideas don’t come from Washington – they come from Ohioans who know what their communities need. It’s why my office and I regularly host and attend meetings with local leaders, because listening to the concerns facing communities across Ohio is the best way for me to do my job and serve Ohioans.”

Benefits beyond oral health

Through NEOMED’s clinical and dental network, students will have access to experiences and resources that will enable safety net clinics (NEOMED Dental Clinic, federally qualified health centers and hospital-based dental departments) to improve total health with an integrative medical lens approach to training.

“This $2 million appropriation from Sen. Brown and HHS is significant in many ways,” John T. Langell, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., president of NEOMED, notes. “Not only will this bring positive change to Ohio’s biggest unmet health care need, but it will also make possible services such as screenings for chronic and acute medical conditions in a dental setting, which not only improves oral health, but overall health as well.”

The $2 million appropriation from Brown combines with a $1 million appropriation in the FY22-23 biennial budget by the state of Ohio and $10 million private gift from the Dr. Dominic A. and Helen M. Bitonte Family Foundation to provide more than half of the support needed for the fledgling Dental College, which was recently approved by NEOMED’s Board of Trustees.