The proposed Wisconsin Oral Health Workforce Pipeline Program will encourage and support innovation that will increase oral health services for Wisconsin populations living in DHPSAs. This will be accomplished by building upon the current capacity of the state’s workforce and improving its diversity by promoting opportunities for persons of color and those committed to working in rural areas to enter and be retained in the oral health workforce. Program strategies will consist of developing a data system to comprehensively assess Wisconsin’s oral health workforce, creating a workshop (Future Oral Health Workforce Day [FOHWD]) that will expose prospective students to oral health careers, developing and enhancing oral health specific apprenticeships, and providing grant funding to cover the cost of preparatory courses as well as application and testing fees. The Oral Health Program (OHP) will collaborate with Wisconsin Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) to implement the FOHWD across seven AHEC regions. This workshop will be held annually. Additionally, the OHP will partner with the DWD to develop dental assistant and dental lab technician pathways for its apprenticeship programs. The OHP will partner with AHEC, technical colleges, and Marquette University School of Dentistry to develop a preparatory and fee grant opportunity. Furthermore, the establishment of workforce data tracking system will require collaboration with numerous partners, such as Wisconsin’s Primary Care Program, Department of Safety and Professional Services, Wisconsin Primary Healthcare Association, and Wisconsin Division of Medicaid Services. Programmatic sustainability will be a priority during the development of the Wisconsin Oral Health Workforce Pipeline, and the OHP anticipates that all aspects of the pipeline will be offered well after the conclusion of the grant period. The Wisconsin Oral Health Workforce Pipeline Program will address HRSA’s three program goals throu
gh the following objectives: Goal 1 Objective 1: By August 31, 2026, create an oral health workforce pipeline program to improve the geographic distribution and diversity of the oral health workforce. • Sub-Objective 1: By August 31, 2023, complete an Oral Health Workforce Pipeline Needs Assessment to inform subsequent Sub-Objectives. • Sub-Objective 2: By August 31, 2024, create a Future Oral Health Workforce Day within the seven Wisconsin Area Health Education Center regions. • Sub-Objective 3: By August 31, 2025, develop an apprenticeship program for dental assistants and dental lab technicians in concert with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD). • Sub-Objective 4: By August 31, 2024, develop and implement a preparation and fee grant program related to applying to undergraduate, technical, or graduate dental programs. Goal 1 Objective 2: By August 31, 2026, the OHP will develop a system to track oral health workforce data and enhance its existing data sources to comprehensively assess the oral health workforce. • Sub-Objective 1: By March 31, 2023, identify and quantify geographic DHPSAs in Wisconsin and update DHPSA maps on a biannual basis (in concert with Primary Care Program). • Sub-Objective 2: By January 1, 2024, develop and disseminate a one-pager to key partners on the impact of the 40% Medicaid reimbursement rate on provider enrollment and access to care. • Sub-Objective 3: By January 1, 2026, draft and disseminate a comprehensive oral health workforce report, including impacts of COVID-19 on the workforce to key stakeholders. Goal 2 Objective 1: On a quarterly basis, the OHP will conduct evaluation activities and report outcomes to ensure progress towards achievement of the project goals and objectives of this grant. Goal 3 Objective 1: By August 31, 2026, develop a sustainability plan for the oral health workforce pipeline program, including incorporation into long-term plans of partner organizations.