On January 23, Sen. Vicki Schmidt, chair of the Kansas Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, introduced a bill to establish dental therapists (SB 312) – beginning the first step in the legislative process to move this effort forward. A hearing on this bill was held on Thursday, February 1 at 9:30 a.m. The full Senate approved the bill on February 15. Read KHF testimony on SB 312.
Today, nearly 33 percent of Kansas adults do not have dental insurance, and the rates are higher for those with lower incomes (67%) or are Hispanic (51%). Dental therapists could help dentists expand basic dental care for underserved Kansans, including rural residents and those served by safety net clinics. Follow the Kansas Dental Project on twitter (@KansasDental) for further legislative developments on this important policy issue!
The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. To achieve this, KHF focuses its work in four impact areas: access to affordable health care, healthy behaviors, civic and community engagement and educational attainment. During its 30-year history, KHF has provided more than $500 million in grants to Kansas communities and organizations, and looks forward to working toward its mission and vision for many years to come.
Every month, our electronic newsletter, Health Happenings, features a story about a focus area, grant, partnership or program involving the Foundation.