Tonko Secures $500K Award for Dental Residency Program at Whitney Young Health Center

Government and Politics

March 24, 2023

ALBANY, NY — Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced today that the Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center in Albany has been awarded a grant of $499,999 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These funds, allocated to Whitney Young’s Teaching Health Center Planning and Development Program, will allow the health center to establish a community-based dental residency program that will ensure access to quality dental care for thousands of Capital Region residents. In February, Congressman Tonko submitted a letter to HHS successfully requesting this federal funding in support of Whitney Young Health.

“Since the expansion of those qualifying for Medicaid in New York State, we have seen a dramatic increase in demand for dental services for Medicaid recipients,” Congressman Tonko said. “Whitney Young Health’s proposal to establish a community-based dental residency program will help provide these services to thousands of low-income residents of our region, and I was thrilled to lend my support to their request for funding. I’m always proud to deliver federal dollars for programs that help bolster public health in our Capital Region communities, and I’ll continue working to make certain that everyone in our district and beyond has access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

“The capacity to serve dental patients in the Capital District, regardless of income, for their dental needs has eroded to a crisis level,” said Dave Shippee, President and CEO of Whitney Young Health. “This $500,000 federal grant award, secured with the support and advocacy of Congressman Paul Tonko, will greatly assist in building the infrastructure to support the establishment of a Dental Residency Program. Establishing a long-term training program in a safety net setting has the ability to significantly impact where dental school graduates will be motivated to practice upon completion of their postdoctoral training. We are optimistic that these future trainees will be a vital part of the solution in addressing oral health inequities in the Capital Region and beyond.”

Whitney Young Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center that has been providing healthcare services and community resources in New York’s Capital Region for more than 50 years, including dental services for low-income communities and Medicaid recipients.