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Minnesota Passes Legislation Allowing Mid-level Oral Health Provider
Date:5/18/2009

CHICAGO, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- History was made on May 13, 2009, as Minnesota became the first state to pass legislation allowing a "mid-level" oral health provider into state statute - enabling students who are educated under the Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner (ADHP) model to become licensed to practice. The Minnesota state House and Senate overwhelmingly passed Senate File 2083, a bill establishing the Dental Therapist and Advanced Dental Therapist providers in the state. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed the bill into law on May 16.

The new providers will focus their practice on care for underserved populations in the state and will administer educational, preventive, palliative, therapeutic, and restorative services. The bill is supported by the Minnesota Safety Net Coalition, which has taken the lead in advocating for a new provider. Proponents of the OHP, including the Minnesota Dental Hygienists' Association, have also lent support to the effort. The Minnesota Dental Association is not opposed to the legislation.

The Dental Therapist/Advanced Dental Therapist provider language was the culmination of nearly two years of work spearheaded by Minnesota State Senator Ann Lynch who first brought legislation to establish a new oral health provider forward in 2008. Senator Lynch along with Representative Cy Thao in the House were integral in both supporting legislation for the new providers and forging a compromise among the various stakeholders.

American Dental Hygienists' Association President Diann Bomkamp, RDH, BSDH noted, "The leadership demonstrated by Senator Lynch, Representative Thao and their colleagues who worked closely on this effort is to be commended. Forging consensus on workforce issues is never easy but Minnesota is a demonstration to others throughout the country that solutions can be developed and implemented."

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SOURCE American Dental Hygienists' Association
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