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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 23, 2022 12:55 PM
From: Senator Scott Martin
To: All Senate members
Subject: Dental Continuing Education Credits for Charitable Volunteerism
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation designed to both encourage charitable volunteerism and increase exposure to uninsured and underserved populations by individuals who work within the dental profession.
Poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and simply one’s overall health and well-being. That said, dental care is often either unavailable or simply unaffordable to communities across our Commonwealth. Thankfully, clinics, health centers and/or charitable entities help to fill the gaps so that individuals who otherwise would lack access can receive critical care. These events are largely staffed by volunteers and their work helps to reach those who otherwise would fall through the cracks of our healthcare system.
By participating at these events and clinics, those in the dental profession are not only being great stewards of their communities and honing their own skills, but they are also exposing themselves to cases of progressive dental emergencies that they may not see as often from those who routinely receive dental care. This type of volunteerism should be encouraged, and its value should be properly recognized.
That is why my legislation would allow for up to three hours of the already mandated continuing education credit requirements to be accrued by those participating in volunteer dental, hygiene or dental assisting practices at volunteer clinics or charitable events. Specifically, this legislation will only apply to time spent in the actual delivery or direct support of the actual delivery of oral healthcare and not administrative duties. Similar legislation has been found in other states such as Kansas and Connecticut.
If passed my legislation would improve healthcare outcomes for those currently underserved without increasing costs on taxpayers both in the near term and in the long run when inevitably poor health leads to higher usage of our healthcare system. In addition, it is worth noting that this bill has received the support of the Pennsylvania Dental Association.
Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1173