TOPEKA — Kansas policymakers are taking a serious, comprehensive look at ways to most effectively ensure that the number of dentists serving Kansas citizens continues to meet population needs. The Kansas Board of Regents has announced the creation of a statewide task force to study and make recommendation for improvements needed in the delivery of oral health in Kansas.
The study will look at issues centering on the feasibility of creating a dental school in Kansas, placement of a branch campus in Kansas of an existing dental school outside of the state, and obtaining more slots for Kansas students at dental schools in neighboring state.
Serving on the task force are:
Dr. Dan Thomas, Task Force Chair, Johnson County dentist
Dr. Peter Cohen, Dean of the College of Health Professions, Wichita State University
Dr. Kim Kimmineau, Dept. Family Medicine, KU Medical Center
Senator Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia
Kim Moore, United Methodist Health Ministries
Robba Moran, Hays, Kansas Board of Regents
Dr. Michael Reed, former Dean of the UMKC Dental School
Kevin Robertson, Executive Director of the Kansas Dental Association
Dr. Kathy Weno, Director of the Bureau of Oral Health, State of Kansas
Rep. Valdenia Winn, D-Kansas City
“Kansas dentists applaud the leadership demonstrated by this step and look forward to participating in the efforts,” said Hal Hale, President of the Kansas Dental Association. “We know that policymakers are concerned about any barriers that stand in the way of Kansans having access to safe, affordable dental services. As dentists, we share that concern and consider this assessment of dental education to be a strong component of a comprehensive set of actions Kansas dentists have launched.”
Those actions include a new initiative to increase participation in the Kansas Medicaid program to expand services provided to Kansas children, policy recommendations aimed at recruiting dentists to underserved areas of the state and boosting services provided in clinics, schools and other community settings.
The Kansas Board of Regents Oral Health Task Force will begin its work immediately and will reports its findings to the state upon conclusion of its work.