Dr. Tony Brantner, a dentist practicing in Algona and Emmetsburg, has been awarded an $80,000 educational loan repayment grant through the Fulfilling Iowa's Need for Dentists (FIND) project. The FIND project recruits dentists to practice in rural communities in underserved Iowa counties by helping them with their dental education debt.
Dr. Brantner's award is comprised of funding from the Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment Program, matching grants that are being coordinated by the Kossuth/Palo Alto Economic Development Corporation and funding from a state appropriation for the FIND project.
"Dr. Brantner will make a positive impact in the Algona and Emmetsburg communities for years to come," said Jeff Russell, president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. "The loan repayment project encourages rural communities to partner with Delta Dental and the FIND partners to support dentists and help meet the needs of underserved populations."
Dr. Brantner is a 2012 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics and is an associate dentist with Louscher Family Dentistry.
A reception and open house will be held at Louscher Family Dentistry located at 310 E. Call St. in Algona on Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
The startup costs for a new dental practice are significant, with an average investment of more than $300,000. In addition, most dentists graduate from dental school today with more than $120,000 in educational debt.
To be eligible for the Loan Repayment Program, award recipients agree to practice in a designated dentist shortage area and devote at least 35 percent of their practice to Medicaid-eligible, elderly, disabled, and other underserved patients over a three-year period. Fifty-five of Iowa's 99 counties are designated as dentist shortage areas for the Loan Repayment Program. The Loan Repayment Program is a component of Delta Dental of Iowa's Public Benefit program that invests in projects that improve the oral health of Iowans. For more information, visit www.iowafindproject.com.
FIND project partners include Delta Dental of Iowa, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, Iowa Area Development Group, Ripple Effect, Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics.
Delta Dental of Iowa is the largest and most experienced provider of dental benefits in the state. As a not-for-profit, Delta Dental of Iowa invests in oral health projects through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation that focus on access to care, prevention, education and research. Delta Dental of Iowa is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, a national organization of not-for-profit Delta Dental member companies. The national association is the largest dental benefits carrier in the nation providing coverage to more than 60 people in more than 111,000 employer groups.