Delta Dental of New Jersey Supports Launch of National Campaign to Drive Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce

April 20, 2023 – Parsippany, NJ In an effort to help increase the number of oral health professionals from historically underrepresented groups, Delta Dental of New Jersey is pleased to support Delta Dental Institute’s new campaign, Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce.


While racial and ethnic diversity among health professionals is linked to improved outcomes and greater health equity, the current oral health workforce does not reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. population. The Delta Dental Institute's campaign will drive toward a more diverse oral health workforce by supporting initiatives in oral health education, research, and community investment, and establishing the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund


“Supporting diversity in the oral health field is a priority for us both locally and nationally,” said Dennis G. Wilson, president and CEO of Delta Dental of New Jersey. Since 1986, the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has worked to promote and assist educational projects devoted to the enhancement of dental health, especially in underserved communities. We are excited to work with the Delta Dental Institute to help make an impact in diversifying the oral health workforce.” 


The Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce campaign will: 

  • Establish the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund: In its first year, the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund will make targeted investments up to $1 million in programs that inspire school-aged children from historically underrepresented groups to pursue a career in oral health. 

  • Support oral health higher education: Nationally, Delta Dental will continue its investment in the future of the oral health workforce through funding scholarships and infrastructure at minority-serving institutions.

  • Propel new research: The Delta Dental Institute sponsored the Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s new research on the oral health workforce.  

  • Engage with our communities: Nearly a quarter of Delta Dental's community investments across the country are dedicated to oral health education and workforce development. 



“It’s important to recruit as many historically underrepresented people into the dental workforce as possible,” said Dr. George McLaughlin, DMD, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation chair and Delta Dental of New Jersey board member. I’ve been advocating for greater diversity in the dental field for more than 30 years, and it makes a difference because patients tend to look for providers who look like them. As a person of color, I understand firsthand the barriers people in my community face regarding accessing dental care. I am hopeful that this campaign will help inspire future generations and create a more diverse workforce in our field.” 


For those interested in applying to the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund and learning more about this campaign, please visit Eligible applicants must be based in the United States, and may include 501(c)3 organizations, private businesses, or limited or general partnerships.



Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation’s Support of Oral Health Workforce Diversity
The Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation has supported oral health workforce diversity for decades. The Foundation’s support includes:


  • Bloomfield Health Careers Foundation’s Rutgers School of Dental Medicine Internship/Shadowing Program, which exposes 45 high school students ages 16-18 at Newark Tech and Central High School in Newark, Nutley High School, Bloomfield High School and Montclair High School to dental careers, including dental assisting. 

  • Newark Central High School’s Dental Studies Academy, which provides students the opportunity to gain entry-level certification in the dental field, including NELDA (National Entry Level Dental Assistant), AMP (Anatomy, Morphology, and Physiology), ICE (Infection Control Exam), and RHS (Radiation Health Safety).


About the Delta Dental Institute

The Delta Dental Institute is dedicated to advancing oral health for all Americans in partnership with Delta Dental companies and dedicated partners across the country. With expertise rooted in Delta Dental's rich history of oral health leadership, we engage in and support oral health research, community outreach, and advocacy, striving to ensure that everyone understands the importance of oral health to overall health and has access to the care they need. Visit for more information.


About Delta Dental of New Jersey 

Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey's leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.9 million people through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental and vision coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs.


Offering dental benefits since 1969, Delta Dental of New Jersey's mission is to promote oral health to the greatest number of people by providing accessible dental benefit programs of the highest quality, service, and value. We are a not-for-profit service corporation and, as a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, we're part of a network that provides national dental coverage to more than 85 million people. For more information, visit


For Media Inquiries: 

Jackie Zygadlo, MikeWorldWide


Kim Elmore, Delta Dental of New Jersey