The Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education (Dental Pipeline) program ended on July 31, 2010. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation created this national program in 2001, to help increase access to dental care for underserved populations.
Funding for the Dental Pipeline program required grantee dental schools to establish community-based clinical education programs; integrate community-based service learning experiences into their educational programs; strengthen course offerings in cultural content; and implement programs to increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority and low-income students.
After nearly ten years of funding and two rounds of multi-year programming, the Pipeline project more than doubled the days that students and residents spend in community-based settings; substantially increased enrollment of under-represented minorities; and facilitated the integration of cultural competency coursework into the dental school curriculum. Most importantly, the necessary framework is now in place for all dental schools to continue working together to achieve Pipeline program goals. A Monograph will be published in the Fall of 2010 as a Special Issue of the Journal of Dental Education in which Dental Pipeline Project Directors and National Program Office leadership fully describe successful strategies to operate community-based education programs and increase the recruitment and enrollment of underrepresented minority students.
While the National Program Office located at Columbia University Medical Center will no longer function to provide consultative services regarding the Dental Pipeline program, this web site serves as an important resource for dental schools interested in developing elements of the Dental Pipeline program, for prospective dental students, and for academic dentistry. The goal for this web site has been to share best practices and disseminate Dental Pipeline publications on topics of importance to the field. We wish to thank the Foundation for allowing it to remain accessible online.
We extend our deepest appreciation to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their vision and support of the Dental Pipeline program. The RWJF Foundation was joined in this endeavor by the California Endowment and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation (through a collateral grant to ADEA). The collaboration of all three Foundations provided significant assistance to dental education.
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