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Inaugural class of rural dental scholars welcomed by UA

Four Alabama students from rural areas of the state have been selected for the inaugural class of the University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences Rural Dental Scholars Program.

The 2023 class of Rural Dental Scholars includes Catherine Hill of Grant, Landon McCardle of Dothan, Joshua Perry of Guntersville, and Aubrey Stewart of Dothan.

“The Rural Dental Scholars Program is a partnership between CCHS Rural Programs and the UAB School of Dentistry to recruit students who are interested in practicing dentistry in a rural area of our state,” said Dr. Drake Lavender, associate professor of family medicine and director of CCHS Rural Programs. “Oral health is a huge component of the overall health of an individual. We are mindful that there is a lack of access to dental care in our rural areas, so this program fits in well with our other programs, as well as the overall mission of CCHS.”

The postgraduate program includes a year of study and a master’s degree in rural community health at CCHS and early admission to the UAB School of Dentistry.

Students must have either lived in rural Alabama for eight years or have graduated from a rural Alabama high school to be eligible for the program.

The Rural Dental Scholars program is modeled after the CCHS’s Rural Medical Scholars Program.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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