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    Delta Dental of Massachusetts Donates $200,000 to Fund Scholarships at Local Community Colleges and Improve Workforce Diversity

    The endowment provides tuition support to dental hygiene students of color at Bristol Community College, Middlesex Community College, and Quinsigamond Community College

    BOSTON – March 27, 2023 – Delta Dental of Massachusetts (DDMA) has announced a $200,000 endowment to fund scholarships for students of color at Bristol Community College, Middlesex Community College, and Quinsigamond Community College. Expanding on last year’s pilot program, this donation supports DDMA’s goal of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in dentistry and creating greater opportunities for students of color to enter the dentistry profession.
    “One of the greatest challenges in all of health care is the gap between the need for care and a trained workforce to offer it,” said Erik Montlack, president of Delta Dental of Massachusetts. “At Delta Dental of Massachusetts, we are committed to being a good corporate citizen and an engaged community partner. We hope this investment will play a direct role in strengthening the diversity of the dental industry while supporting our communities.”
    According to the American Dental Association, diversity in the national dental workforce does not reflect the overall population. In fact, in 2020, Hispanic dentists made up only 5.9% of the dental workforce while they reflect 18.4% of the overall population, and Black dentists made up 3.8% compared to the 12.4% of the overall population.
    “We know how important it is for patients to have access to health care professionals that they can identify with; yet in many Massachusetts communities, that’s not the reality,” said Jane Gauthier, coordinator and professor of the dental hygiene program at Quinsigamond Community College. “We’ve seen how impactful these scholarships are for our students, and with Delta Dental’s continued support, we can foster a new generation of dental professionals and help build a dental workforce that reflects the communities we serve.” 
    “This generous investment in Bristol’s dental hygienist program is an investment in the overall health of our region,” said Dr. Laura L. Douglas, President, Bristol Community College. “Dental hygienists play an important role in preventive dental care and promoting good oral and physical health. We are grateful for Delta Dental’s support in meeting the needs of one of the fastest growing occupations in the country.”
    “Thank you to Delta Dental for this tremendous support of Middlesex Community College dental hygiene students,” said Karen Townsend, MCC’s Dean of Health. “The investment Delta Dental has made to support more students of color entering dental professions is in complete alignment with MCC’s mission of providing an equitable and accessible education for all. It is so important for this population of students to understand that a job in this industry is viable, and diverse representation in dental professionals is critical to supporting equity in dental healthcare. This financial support from Delta Dental will help make this possible for more students, in turn improving health outcomes for all patients.”
    “I am grateful that the professors at MCC have made a real difference in my education,” said Allie Yi Ruan, an MCC Dental Hygiene student. “This program has prepared me to become a compassionate dental hygienist.”
    The endowment expands on a 2021 pilot program in which Delta Dental donated $17,500 in scholarships for students of color in the dental hygiene programs at local community colleges.
    Additional information on Delta Dental of Massachusetts’ corporate citizenship can be found on our website.
    About Delta Dental of Massachusetts
    Delta Dental of Massachusetts (, the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, is a leader in innovative programs that improve the overall health of members, prevent oral disease and reduce health care costs for employers, groups and individuals. Headquartered in Charlestown, Mass., Delta Dental of Massachusetts, a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association (, covers more than 2 million people. Follow us on Twitter (@DeltaDentalofMA), Facebook (, and Instagram (@deltadentalofma).