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Big Sandy Community and Technical College partners with American Dental Association and Avesis to offer the State’s only Community Dental Health Coordinator Program

Dr. Andy Elliott DMD, accepts an award on behalf of Avesis from Dr. Sherry Zylka, BSCTC President/CEO at the Celebration of Success. This annual event is held by Big Sandy Community and Technical College to honor donors and their contributions to the college and student success.Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) has partnered with the American Dental Association (ADA) and Avesis Incorporated, a Guardian company, to offer Kentucky’s only Community Dental Health Coordinator Program (CDHCP).

The one-year, 17-credit hour certificate program targets registered dental hygienists and provides information to help them to work effectively in a number of settings to provide oral health education. Students will also learn about grant writing, finance, teaching and learning skills, advocacy, and outreach.

The components of the program are completed online and the summer includes an externship with students working in their communities. The program is designed to be compatible for individuals working full-time and seeking to expand their skills.

Patsy Smallwood, a CDHCP student, drove nearly two hours when she was in the Dental Hygiene program and is nearing completion of the CDHCP program. She will be one of the first graduates from this program at BSCTC.

“I love getting out in the communities and helping spread the word about the services we offer. This is definitely the career for me. I am excited to finish these hours for the Dental Health Coordinator program. I enjoy doing community screenings for those without dental insurance coverage,” said Smallwood.

For 40 years Avesis Incorporated, has been vested in protecting the vision, dental, and hearing health of Americans, and the company is now working with BSCTC to support the Community Dental Health Coordinator Program; Avesis has donated $30,000 for scholarships to students interested in the program.

For more information about the Community Dental Health Coordinator Program, contact Dr. Jill Keaton by calling (606) 889-4726.