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Latest Recipients of the AADOCR Delta Dental Institute Oral Health Equity Research Award Named

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Researchers Drs Akinlotan and Semprini announced as the 2024 award winners; each will pursue research dealing with Medicaid dental benefits and access to dental care.

Latest Recipients of the AADOCR Delta Dental Institute Oral Health Equity Research Award Named | Image Credit: © The Delta Dental Institute

Image Credit: © The Delta Dental Institute

Marvellous Akinlotan, PhD, clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M University, and Jason Semprini, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, have been selected as the 2024 recipients of the AADOCR DDI Oral Health Equity Research Award.

Debuted in 2023, the American Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) and the Delta Dental Institute (DDI) award supports research in the areas of advancing recommendations for greater oral health equity in populations that lack access to dental care, and efforts to improve oral health literacy for underserved populations.

The honorees this year, Drs Akinlotan and Semprini, each will pursue research dealing with Medicaid dental benefits and the importance of access to dental health care for different populations.

This year, the Oral Health Equity Research Award will support 2 research awards of $25,000 each. Below is a summary of each research project:

  • Dr Akinlotan will conduct research on the expansion of Medicaid dental benefits and its impact on emergency dental visits in both rural and urban areas and develop an understanding of the role that social determinants of health play in accessing care.
  • Dr Semprini will pursue research that evaluates the effect of Medicaid dental service access on oral cancer treatment and outcomes. This research aims to provide evidence on the importance of dental health services in cancer care.

The award winners were recognized during the opening ceremonies of the 102nd General Session of the Internal Association for Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Research, the 53rd annual meeting of the AADOCR, and the 48th annual meeting of the Canadian Association for Dental Research (CADR), which took place on March 13. The International Association for Dental Research was held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the AADOCR and the CADR from March 13-16 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Established in 2023 with generous support from the Delta Dental Institute, the Oral Health Equity Research Award supports research that focuses on advancing recommendations for greater oral health equity in populations that lackaccess to dental care, and studies designed to improve oral health literacy for underserved populations.

You can click here to learn more about the AADOCR DDI Oral Health Equity Research Award.

Last year’s honorees were Astha Singhal, PhD, Boston University assistant professor of health policy & health services research and the team of Cameron Randall, PhD, University of Washington assistant professor, oral health sciences, and Tamanna Tiwari, BDS, MDS, MPH, University of Colorado assistant professor of community dentistry & population health, as the inaugural recipients of the AADOCR Delta Dental Institute Oral Health Equity Research Award.

The AADOCR is a non-profit organization whose mission is to drive dental, oral, and craniofacial research to advance health and well-being. The organization represents the individual scientists, clinician-scientists, dental professionals, and students based in academic, government, non-profit, and private-sector institutions who share this mission.

The Delta Dental Institute is dedicated to advancing oral health for all Americans in partnership with Delta Dental companies and dedicated partners.


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