FIND Project Awards Muscatine Dentist Loan Repayment
Dr. Jarod Johnson, a pediatric dentist practicing in Muscatine, was awarded $80,000 in educational loan repayment through the Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists (FIND) project. Through this program, more than one-third of Dr. Johnson’s practice is devoted to serve patients who are Medicaid-eligible, disabled or otherwise underserved. Dr. Johnson’s award is comprised of funding from the Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment Program, matching funds from the Muscatine Health Support Foundation, and funding from a state appropriation for the FIND project.
“Dr. Johnson will make a positive impact in the Muscatine community for years to come,” said Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. “He is involved with dental education community service activities and is passionate about providing lifelong service to children.”
An open house event on October 12 will celebrate Dr. Johnson’s clinic and his commitment to the community. Dr. Johnson is a 2013 graduate of The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics and received a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2015. He opened Arctic Dental in 2015 and is the only full-time pediatric dentist in Muscatine County. Dr. Johnson works with local pediatricians to establish relationships and create opportunities to collaborate on community oral health projects. He also works with area schools to promote good oral health habits.
“This award is a great demonstration of the collaborative efforts between the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, the Muscatine Health Support Foundation and the FIND project stakeholders,” said Judi Holdorf, executive director at the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine. “We are proud to support the efforts of the FIND program to bring needed dental care, while enhancing the economic growth of Muscatine and surrounding communities.”
Whether joining an existing practice, investing in new equipment and technology or starting a practice from the ground up, initial investments in a dental practice are significant, with an average investment of more than $300,000. In addition, most dentists graduate from dental school today with more than $240,000 in educational debt.
The FIND project recruits dentists to practice in underserved Iowa counties by helping them with their dental education debt. Sixty-five of Iowa’s 99 counties are designated as dentist shortage areas for the Loan Repayment Program. The Loan Repayment Program is a component of Delta Dental of Iowa’s Public Benefit program that invests in projects that support and improve the oral health of Iowans. For more information, visit www.iowafindproject.com.
FIND project partners include Delta Dental of Iowa, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Iowa Area Development Group, Aureon, The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics, Iowa Department of Public Health and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
About Delta Dental of Iowa
Delta Dental of Iowa, a not-for-profit health and wellness company, provides dental and vision benefits to more than one million Iowans. Locally focused and nationally networked, Delta Dental of Iowa invests in oral health and wellness projects through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and community giving that focus on access to care, prevention, education and research. Since 2002, Delta Dental has invested more than $30 million to improve the oral health and overall health of Iowans.
Delta Dental of Iowa is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, the leading national network of independent dental service corporations. The Delta Dental member companies provide dental benefits to more than 75 million Americans in more than 139,000 employee groups throughout the country. For more information, visit the website at www.deltadentalia.com.