In December 2023, NACHC sent a letter to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) about proposed dental accreditation standards. Health centers report that dental health staff represent their third-highest loss in clinical workforce. Given these challenges, health centers expressed concerns that some of the proposed changes to dental accreditation standards could undermine their ability to grow the dental health workforce appropriately to meet patients’ needs. In response, NACHC took steps to elevate these concerns to CODA.
CODA’s proposed standards do recognize the role Community Health Centers play in providing dental training in underserved communities. However, some health centers have expressed concerns that some of CODA’s proposed changes to accreditation standards could place an undue burden of compliance that would delay or limit their ability to start offering advanced dental training. On behalf of member health centers, NACHC requested that CODA:
- Maintain the inclusion of Community Health Centers as eligible sponsors of Advanced
Dental Education Programs.
- Add achievement of compliance with HRSA’s Operational Site Visit/certification of
completion of HRSA’s Operational Review as being equivalent to such accreditation.
- Strike proposed revisions to CODA standards to require that AEGD, GPR, and PD program sponsoring health care organizations, such as Community Health Centers, must obtain a state license or federal authority or institutional accreditation to document the organization’s approval to confer a credential or certificate.
By making these meaningful improvements to its proposed revisions, CODA can help remove barriers to achieving our shared goals of advancing the quality of dental education across the country and improving access to high-quality dental care. I hope that you will duly consider my comments before finalizing revisions to your accreditation standards.