$10 Million for Pediatric Dentistry Training Included in FY 2017 Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved a FY2017 funding bill on June 7, followed by full Appropriations Committee passage on June 9, 2016 by a 29-1 vote. The approved bipartisan legislation will include a $2 billion increase for medical research by the National Institutes of Health and includes funding for issues affecting oral and overall health, education, job training, and opioid abuse prevention.

The AAPD is pleased with the $10 million that was provided for pediatric dentistry in the Senate bill. This is one step towards reaching our top FY 2017 federal appropriations priority of including $35.873 million for the HRSA Title VII Primary Care Dental Training Cluster and related oral health programs, with not less than $10 million for Pediatric Dentistry Training programs—including continuation of new dental faculty loan repayment program awards. The following report language was included:

"Training in Oral Healthcare: The Committee provides $35,873,000 for the Training in Oral Health Care programs, which includes not less than $10,000,000 each for general and pediatric dentistry. Funds may be used to expand training … and may also be used to plan and operate training programs, as well as to provide financial assistance to students and residents."

"The agency is directed to provide continuation funding for predoctoral and postdoctoral training grants initially awarded in fiscal year 2015 and for Section 748 Dental Faculty Loan Program grants initially awarded in fiscal year 2016."

"The Committee strongly encourages HRSA to restore the position of Chief Dental Officer with executive level authority and resources to oversee and lead HRSA dental programs and initiatives."

The full subcommittee report is available at: https://www.congress.gov/114/crpt/srpt274/CRPT-114srpt274.pdf

Background: The authority to fund pediatric dentistry residency training under Title VII was first enacted under the health Professions Education Partnership of 1998. This expanded the existing General Dentistry training authority by providing "start-up funds" to increase Pediatric Dentistry positions at existing programs or initiate new programs. Under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Title VII was expanded to create a primary care dental funding cluster under Section 748 of the Public Health Service Act. Authority was broadened to allow use of funds for faculty development, predoctoral training, and faculty loan repayment. The AAPD has long advocated for this latter initiative due to the significant difficulties in recruiting qualified individuals to fill faculty positions.

Analysis: This outcome is one step towards meeting the AAPD’s final FY 2017 federal appropriations goals. The AAPD is especially pleased that report language was included recognizing the importance of continuing the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment awards that are expected to be announced later this summer. The AAPD also strongly supports the restoration of a Chief Dental Officer position at HRSA. The AAPD especially thanks Congressional Liaison Heber Simmons, Jr. and Mike Gilliland and Kate McAuliffe at Hogan Lovells in Washington D.C. for their efforts on these appropriations issues. The AAPD also thanks all those members who participated in the 2016 Public Policy Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C. where they advocated for this funding.

The AAPD also acknowledges our joint efforts with the ADA, ADEA, and AADR.


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