GEHA celebrates 25 years of GEHA Solutions with $250,000+ of investment to address health equity
GEHA | April 11, 2023
LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. (April 11, 2023) – GEHA (Government Employees Health Association, Inc.) celebrates 25 years of GEHA Solutions, Inc, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary offering tailored dental options for health care payers and administrators. To commemorate the milestone year, GEHA Solutions announced today that it will enhance its support and invest more than $270,000 toward addressing oral health disparities, specifically by expanding its giving and scholarship programs, and continuing to provide oral health education in local communities.
With a special focus on diversifying dentistry and dental hygiene, GEHA Solutions will continue its partnerships with University of Missouri–Kansas City’s (UMKC) School of Dentistry and national nonprofit BrownGirl, RDH to support representation and health equity, both in the local Kansas City area and beyond. According to the American Dental Association, in 2020, 70.2% of dentists were White; 18% were Asian, 5.9% were Hispanic, and 3.8% were Black. In addition, only approximately 6% of the professional dental hygiene industry is Black, Brown or multi-racial.
For this reason, GEHA Solutions will offer more than forty scholarships and fellowships to increase diversity in the dental professions.
“It’s important that we make strides to bridge the representation gap in dentistry,” said Rich Bierman, President, GEHA Solutions. “By expanding our oral health equity scholarship and fellowship program, we know we are having a significant impact on this need – the incoming class of dentists at the UMKC School of Dentistry will be the most culturally diverse incoming class in its 142-year history. These efforts are tied to our mission of supporting providers in the many communities where they serve patients.”
To help address racial disparities and create a positive impact on social determinants of health, GEHA Solutions works with multiple groups, including:
UMKC SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
Last year, GEHA Solutions funded a $150,000 scholarship and fellowship program with UMKC School of Dentistry’s Dr. Roy James Rinehart Memorial Foundation. The program funds opportunities for students representing historically marginalized communities to advance within the dental and dental hygiene industries.
This year, GEHA Solutions will add three dental scholarships, one dental hygiene scholarship, and ten pre-dental fellowships. The funds and GEHA Solutions’ annual classroom presentations on dental practice business models will expose students to dental careers at earlier ages.
“It is wonderful to see two organizations come together for a worthy cause that’s making a difference,” said UMKC School of Dentistry Dean Steven Haas, D.M.D., J.D., MBA. “The success of the partnership between GEHA Solutions and the School of Dentistry is evident in the heartfelt responses we have received from the scholarship and fellowship recipients. We are incredibly grateful that GEHA Solutions recognizes the success of the program with its commitment of additional dollars.”
GEHA Solutions’ partnership with BrownGirl, RDH, which saw a $50,000 investment in scholarships and continuing education opportunities last year for historically marginalized communities pursuing a career in dental hygiene, will be renewed this year at the same level.
$40,000 of this year’s investment will go towards student scholarships to help further diversity in the dental hygiene industry, while also supporting continuing education for existing practitioners. GEHA Solutions will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the 2023 BrownGirl, RDH Conference. Most of a patient’s dental experience is spent with their dental hygienist, making this a strategic investment for industry growth and representation in the field.
“Working with GEHA Solutions over the past two years has truly been instrumental in taking our mission to new heights,” said Martelle Coke, BrownGirl, RDH founder. “In 2022, we were truly grateful for their partnership. It opened the door for sixteen new scholarship recipients. Now, as 2023 is well underway, our continued partnership has only grown stronger in bringing awareness to our organization and the dental hygiene profession.”
In addition, since 2022, GEHA and GEHA Solutions have provided more than 64,000 toothbrushes and toothbrush caps to nonprofit community partners throughout America, including support for military veterans, survivors of domestic violence and sexual trafficking, the unhoused, youth within the court systems, families experiencing medical emergency relocations, historically underserved communities and more. Providing these oral health safety tools lessens the expenses for those in crisis, along with serving as a continuing reminder of the importance of oral health as an indicator of overall health.
To learn more about GEHA Solutions’ 25 years of dental network leasing and its commitment to sustainable change, please visit https://gehasolutions.com/why-geha-solutions/about-us.
ABOUT GEHA SOLUTIONS, INC.
GEHA Solutions is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of GEHA established in 1997 to market GEHA's Connection Dental® Network as a solution to lower claims costs for dental payers. Today, GEHA Solutions offers multiple dental PPO networks for lease, as well as a Medicare Advantage Network Option. As one of the nation’s leading dental network leasing companies, GEHA Solutions' dental networks improve accessibility for clients such as third-party administrators, insurance companies and self-insured employer groups.