A program that seeks to bring dentists into under-served areas of Iowa has chosen a Wapello County dentist for a 50-thousand dollar award. Ed Schooley, Dental Director of the Delta Dental Plan of Iowa says dentist James Enloe is the winner of the 2004 Iowa Loan Repayment Program. He says the purpose of the program is to help address the access to dental care in certain counties of Iowa. He says 72 of the 99 counties are designated as underserved. The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is partnering with Delta Dental in the program. Schooley says there are a variety of reasons for the shortage of dentists in some counties. He says dentists today graduate with in excess of 100-thousand dollars in debt and there’s some question as to whether they can make a go of it in some of the counties. Schooley says the dental shortage is part of an overall economic problem for some of the counties. He says not all of them are flourishing, many are agriculturally based. And he says another factor is that not as many dentists are graduating as there used to be. The program pays the winning dentist the 50-thousand dollars over three years to help them pay off their debt. Doctor Enloe practices in Ottumwa and serves residents in and around Wapello County.
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