Press Release

August 25, 2008

U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today announced the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded a $50,000 grant to Hagerstown Community College to help fund new dental courses, degrees and certifications at the college.


 “Oral health is directly linked to health status, but unfortunately too many Marylanders lack access to quality dental care,” said Senator Cardin.  “This ARC grant will help improve access to oral health care for the residents of Hagerstown, and will lead to an improvement in the overall health of residents.”


“This ARC grant is a federal investment in educational opportunities and workforce training for the people of Western Maryland,” said Senator Mikulski.  “I’m proud these funds will give more Marylanders an opportunity to become certified dental assistants or get their associate’s degree in dental hygiene.  I will continue to fight to keep Western Maryland a priority in the federal checkbook.”


The grant will help fund Hagerstown Community College’s new dental program course offerings, degrees and certifications.  Hagerstown Community College is turning its continuing education dental assistant program into a credit-based certificate program, and also adding a dental hygiene associate’s degree program.  The college will hire a faculty member and seek accreditation for the program from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  In addition, the grant will help pay for equipment needed to simulate a dentist’s office for training purposes. Twenty-five students will be trained in the first two program groups. 


The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.