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NNOHA is the largest group of safety-net oral health practitioners in the country, and our members all share a commitment to increasing access to quality oral health care for underserved populations. NNOHA is committed to providing the highest quality resources and support designed to meet the unique needs of our members and their programs.
It is critical when establishing a new dental program that health centers consider their workforce and staffing. Workforce issues are a primary concern for health center dental programs. Consideration of the following will help ensure a successful workforce model:
Recruitment strategies for dental providers and team members
Retention strategies for dental providers and team members
Training opportunities that align with the health center mission of building community capacity and/or serve as recruitment and retention strategies
In addition to the Workforce and Staffing chapter of the NNOHA Operations Manual, the following list provides other resources on workforce and staffing that will be beneficial when establishing dental services at a health center:
The NNOHA Job Bank is an excellent resource to recruit dental providers and team members. Job postings are publicized on the NNOHA website and in the bi-weekly NNOHA Newsletters.
In 2018, NNOHA conducted a workforce survey among its membership. The Analysis of the 2018 Member Workforce Survey includes responses from health center dental providers and leadership on topics like dental staff salary ranges, benefits, and factors that influence job satisfaction and may be used to inform health center oral health programs in their recruitment and retention strategies.
Recruiting and retaining a health center dental workforce can be challenging. NNOHA has compiled recruitment and retention tips for health centers working to build a strong and high-quality dental workforce. It is important that health centers make their program distinct and desirable for potential dental providers. Health centers should review workforce recruitment strategies to make their health center stand out. While recruiting staff and providers, there may be many questions that arise about what it is like to work for a health center. This Health Center Dental Employment FAQ is a resource that can be shared with interested candidates.
One strategy for recruitment is through the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). NHSC has a loan repayment and scholarship program for dental providers if they work in a NHSC-approved site in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). Health centers may recruit dental providers who have a loan repayment or scholarship with NHSC to work in their dental program. Dental providers can apply for the loan repayment program while working in a health center that meets the HPSA dental scoring requirement. This may serve as a recruitment perk. NNOHA has developed a fact sheet that outlines the different options available through NHSC.
Volunteer dental providers are a possibility when creating a health center oral health program. NNOHA’s promising practice, Creative Staffing with Professional Volunteers discusses the strategies used to expand volunteers’ capabilities when facing budgeting issues. In addition, health centers can apply for FTCA medical malpractice coverage for a qualified Volunteer Health Professional (VHP).