In the News

Times Union

ALBANY — Last summer, the calls started coming into Saratoga Springs Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner’s district office.Woerner said she was curious about the sudden spike in constituents who said they couldn’t find dental care for themselves or family members.“There’s a decided lack of dentists whose practice will include Medicaid patients,” Woerner said. “For example, in my district, it is only the Saratoga Community Health Center, which is run by the hospital. They have one dentist and two hygienists and that’s it for the entire population.”

Across the state, soaring Medicaid rates are bringing into sharp focus the scarcity of dental care options for low- and middle-income people on public health insurance…

…At one safety-net provider in Minnesota, clinicians, administrators and patients overwhelmingly reported positive experiences with the dental therapy workforce, according to a study by Oral Health Workforce Research Center at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health.

A review of dental claims data revealed that by leaning on dental therapists, dentists were freed up to provide a higher level of service, wait times for care decreased and patients had more of their dental needs met per visit.

“It’s pretty obvious that it’s quite positive and you want to say to people, ‘Gee, what are you waiting for? ‘ ” research center director Jean Moore told the Times Union. “But the resistance from organized dentistry at times can be pretty daunting.”

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Times Union

ALBANY — A growing faculty shortage at New York nursing schools may undercut efforts to boost the state’s nursing workforce, particularly in upstate New York, new data shows.

One in six full-time faculty positions at nursing education programs in New York state are vacant, according to a June report from the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health.

The finding coincides with an increasing number of faculty departures due to retirements, career changes and family commitments. Growing vacancies could reduce the number of students admitted to the programs, which could exacerbate the shortage of registered nurses statewide, researchers said.

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There’s a troubling blockage in New York’s nursing pipeline.

As health care organizations continue struggling to recruit and retain registered nurses, the state has poured funding into a “Nursing Emergency Training Fund” to expand program capacity at nursing schools and provide nursing students with scholarships.

But faculty vacancies appear to be limiting the number of new registered nurses New York is able to train, a new report out of SUNY Albany finds.

One in six full-time faculty positions at nursing education programs across the state are vacant, according to the report by the university’s Center for Health Workforce Studies.

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Press Republican

Lack of access to oral health services is recognized as a serious public health problem that results in poor oral health status for many high-needs populations, according to a study conducted by the Oral Health Workforce Research Center (OHWRC) at the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies (CHWS) in collaboration with the Association of American Medical Colleges.

U.S. consumers were asked about their oral health status and perceived barriers to care. Cost was the most frequently cited reason for not seeking needed oral health services.

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Spectrum News

Attracting and retaining medical professionals is an ongoing issue leaving uneven access to health care services in many New York communities. But new research shows service-obligated providers, which are medical professionals receiving an incentive to work in underserved communities, appear to be making a difference.

“The patients need us to come here and do this work,” said Dr. Chelese Moore, of Whitney M. Young’s Dental Clinic, in Albany.

Moore was on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic where her journey to become a dentist blossomed.

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Concern is rising about the shortage of health care workers in the U.S. As Senator Bernie Sanders told the media, “We don’t have enough doctors. We don’t have enough nurses. We don’t have enough psychologists or counselors for addiction. We don’t have enough pharmacists.

However, dental health has long been treated as a luxury. For instance, some 76.5 million Americans have no dental insurance. Even those with insurance may not have access to oral health care, as evidenced by 70 million Americans who live in oral health professional deserts, with no nearby dental providers and services. In times of economic downturns, states often cut Medicaid dental health benefits for adults. But dental health is not a luxury: It is a basic health need, associated with positive health outcomes. And American oral health could easily be improved effectively and affordably: more dental therapists.

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Spectrum News

Jobs in the health care sector across New York state increased between 2020 and 2021, but are yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, indicated a report released this week by the University at Albany.

The report, developed by the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the university’s School of Public Health, comes as state officials have sought to significantly expand the number of workers in health care jobs in the next five years.

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As New York City hospitals continue to grapple with staffing shortages three years into the pandemic, competition for nurses has become fierce – and many who remain in full-time jobs said they now feel more empowered than ever to fight for better working conditions and pay…

…“There are large numbers of opportunities for nurses and, while we may have a lot of them, they’re not necessarily working in the areas of greatest need,” said Jean Moore, director of the Center for Health Workforce Studies at SUNY Albany…

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January 6, 2023 — A 22% pay gap exists between male and female dentists in the U.S., but why women continue to get shortchanged cannot be fully explained, according to a large study published on January 5 in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Race, ethnicity, bilingualism, employment factors — including employee versus owner status — and household characteristics — including spouse or partner occupation — explain only about 27% of the income gap between men and women dentists, the authors wrote.”The income gap between sexes, although reduced over time, is now less explainable than in the past,” wrote the authors, led by Dr. Simona Surdu, PhD, co-deputy director of the Oral Health Workforce Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany (SUNY) in Rensselaer…

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The Wenatchee World

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community continues to advocate for legislation that would allow dental therapists to practice throughout the state.

Dental therapists are mid-level providers capable of performing about 50 of the approximately 500 procedures a dentist can provide, such as fillings and simple extractions…

…According to a 2017 study by the Center for Health Workforce Studies, rural, low-income and patients with limited English proficiency have less access to oral health care and poorer oral health outcomes…

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