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Four Iowa dentists receive loan repayment awards from FIND project to increase access to dental care

Posted on March 5, 2024 in Foundation

2024 FIND Recipients

Four Iowa dentists are the 2024 recipients of educational loan repayment awards from the Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists (FIND) project, a collaborative public-private partnership.

This program engages dentists to establish dental practices in designated Iowa priority counties where access to dental care is limited. Recipients must devote a percentage of their practice to individuals who disproportionately face barriers to access care such as those enrolled in Medicaid, older adults, and other historically underserviced populations.

Since Delta Dental began the Loan Repayment program in 2002, 61 private-practice dentists have received awards and have provided 352,000 patient visits and more than 942,000 dental services to underserved Iowans in priority counties.

“It is critical that Iowans have access to quality dental care, no matter where they live in our state,” said April Schmaltz, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. “The FIND program is an effort to recruit and retain dentists in communities where there is need. Delta Dental of Iowa and our public-private partners are proud to provide funding to support these important efforts. These dentist’s commitment to practicing in underserved areas not only improves the oral and overall health of their patients, but also contributes to the economic health and vitality of their communities. We look forward to seeing the contributions made by these four dentists as they provide dental services to those in need in their communities.”  

Initial investments in a dental practice are significant and the FIND project can help dentists to establish their practices. The average new practice can require $500,000 for construction costs or remodeling of an existing facility, along with new equipment and technology purchases. This is in addition to educational debt, which for most dentists averages more than $300,000.

Based on the status of their practicing counties, FIND recipients receive funding of $125,000 (priority county) or $200,000 (high priority county) in return for a five-year commitment. This includes $120,000 or $195,000 from Delta Dental of Iowa and the State of Iowa, respectively, and a community match of $5,000.

The 2024 FIND award recipients include:

Dr. Kale Floyd

Dr. Kale Floyd

Anderson and Floyd Dentistry, Eldora

Dr. Floyd is a 2017 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Through an Iowa family connection, he learned about the Eldora practice opportunity and joined Dr. Sarah Anderson as an associate, and in 2019, became a partner in the practice.

Dr. Zachary Johnson

Dr. Zachary Johnson

Fuller Family Dental, Lenox & Corning

Dr. Johnson completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Iowa. After receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree in 2023, he returned to southwest Iowa to become an associate with Dr. Maria Fuller’s new satellite practice in Lenox.

Dr. Maxwell Loew

Dr. Maxwell Loew

Prairie Trails Family Dental, Corydon

Dr. Loew grew up in Wisconsin and completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics in 2022. After graduation, he moved to Corydon to join his brother in practice at Prairie Trails Family Dental.

Dr. Chet Meneely

Dr. Chet Meneely

Family Dental Center, Atlantic & Avoca

Dr. Meneely is a 2019 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics. Following graduation, he returned to his hometown and joined Family Dental Center as an associate with Dr. Tim Kreifils and became the sole owner in 2020.

FIND project partners include Delta Dental of Iowa and the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Iowa Area Development Group, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics, Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa Dental Association, and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, as well as numerous local organizations.

The Loan Repayment Program is a component of Delta Dental of Iowa’s Community Impact program that invests in projects that strengthen and transform the health and smiles of all Iowans. For more information, visit