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October is National Dental Hygiene Month

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — October 17, 2016 Dental hygiene students at New Jersey colleges and universities are able to continue their academic pursuits based on scholarship grants from the Delta Dental of New Jersey (DDNJ) Foundation. Since the inception of the program in 1999, the DDNJF has awarded more than $400,000in scholarship grants to dental hygiene and dental assisting students, typically ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 per school, per year. This year, the Foundation awarded $40,400 in grants to schools in Essex, Union, Middlesex and Burlington County. Each school chooses scholarship recipients based on criteria provided by Delta Dental.

The grants awarded to dental hygiene students help support the dental hygienist profession, ranked among the fastest-growing occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook 1, employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024—much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health to general health will continue to spur demand for preventive dental services, which are provided by dental hygienists.

“As an oral health advocate, we believe it is our role to help prepare aspiring dental hygienists and dental assistants, so they can provide the best oral health care and education possible to their patients,” said Gene F. Napoliello, D.D.S., President, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation.

The following four New Jersey schools were recipients of the most recent round of grant funds:

Rutgers Biomedical Health Sciences-School of Health Related Professions, Scotch Plains - A grant in the amount of $15,000 was endowed to support dental hygiene and dental assisting scholarships for students. Students enrolled in this program study under the professional leadership of experienced faculty, who also provide instruction in the clinical phase of the program. Dental hygiene students have access to the most modern equipment and treatment facilities at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine and in the SHRP-Scotch Plains Dental Suite.

Middlesex County College, Edison - A grant in the amount of $10,000 was endowed to support students enrolled in the Dental Hygiene Program. The rigorous curriculum includes general education, science and dental hygiene courses, including clinical practice under Middlesex County College faculty supervision, both in the college’s Dental Hygiene clinic and external clinical practice sites.

Rowan College at Burlington (formerly Burlington County College), Pemberton - A grant in the amount of $10,000 was endowed to support dental hygiene scholarships for students preparing for a career as a Registered Dental Hygienist. This academically demanding program combines classroom instruction with laboratory and clinical experience. Students come away with a knowledge base that allows them to integrate manual skills with the delivery of high-quality oral health care services. The DDNJ Foundation also supported the school’s Give Kids A Smile Day activities, during which students participate in providing patients with care and education.

Bloomfield Health Careers Foundation, Bloomfield - A grant in the amount of $7,400 was endowed to support the Dental Careers Program, which allows high school students and adults to learn about dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dentist careers.

Completing these programs is a demanding task that requires a great deal of time and effort. As such, it is challenging for students to maintain employment during their educational experience. In addition to this financial strain, some students are single parents managing the economics of not only food, clothing, shelter and child care issues, but also tuition, books, uniforms, instruments and supplies.

In addition to funding dental hygiene and dental assisting scholarships at higher learning institutions in New Jersey, as well as Connecticut, The DDNJ Foundation also supports school-to-careers programs at local high schools that give students opportunities to learn about the dental profession. Many students go on to study dental hygiene. Schools interested in learning more about grant opportunities and approval process can visit

For more information about Delta Dental of New Jersey, visit Additional educational resources and oral health tools can be found at

About Delta Dental
Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.6 million people through contracts with groups in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a newly licensed insurer that writes dental coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs. For more information, visit






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