FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MADISON – May 17, 2019 – Dr. Patrick Tepe, president of the Wisconsin Dental Association, today released the following statement regarding JFC’s approval of the Marquette University School of Dentistry (MUSoD) Rural Scholarship program. The program will provide an annual scholarship to MUSoD dental students who agree to practice in a rural Wisconsin dental health professional shortage area (DHPSA) for up to six years after graduation. This proposal was also introduced as legislation by Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Rep. Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc).

“WDA and its members are grateful to the Joint Committee on Finance for recognizing the impact that this program can have. When emerging from school burdened with significant student loan debt, young dentists are often unable to return to their home communities, or to even consider setting up shop in our state’s outlying, underserved areas. This program will help close the access gap and will expose dental students who might not otherwise have considered a life in rural Wisconsin to new opportunities. We are also grateful for the Marquette University School of Dentistry’s commitment to serving all of our state’s residents, regardless of their ZIP code. Finally, our thanks go to Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) for authoring this budget motion.”