HARRISBURG, Pa., April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) recently installed Dr. Stephen T. Radack III as its new president during its 146th Annual Session. Radack, who will serve a one-year term as president, said he would seek to expand the state's student loan forgiveness program in an effort to keep young dentists in Pennsylvania and improve access to oral health care.
"Pennsylvania is home to three great dental schools: University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and University of Pennsylvania," Radack said. "However, the vast majority of graduates leave Pennsylvania for states offering more opportunities to succeed. We need to change that."
Radack noted that recent dental school graduates often have more than $200,000 in student debt. He said the state program currently offers $64,000 in student loan reimbursements over four years for new dentists who agree to work in underserved areas. Radack said increasing the loan forgiveness amount would keep more dentists in Pennsylvania and improve access to dental services in communities.
Radack will follow Dr. Donald Hoffman as president at PDA. Hoffman, who serves as a faculty member at the Pitt Dental School, also focused on increasing patient access during his term as president. In 2013 PDA successfully advocated for the reinstatement of funding for the Donated Dental Services Program, which connects the state's most vulnerable citizens with dentists who voluntarily treat their oral health needs.
In addition to improving patient access, Radack said he is looking forward to working with PDA to expand its membership and attract young dentists to organized dentistry. PDA represents more than 5,400 dentists across Pennsylvania. The mission of the PDA is to improve the oral health of Pennsylvania citizens, advocate for the interests of its dentist members and promote the dentistry profession in Pennsylvania.
A graduate of the Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Radack owns the Comprehensive Family Dentistry in Erie. Radack graduated from Grove City College with a B.S. in Chemistry. Earlier in his career, Radack served as a dentist for the Erie School District and as a volunteer dentist at the St. Paul's Neighborhood Free Clinic. Radack is an active member in the Erie County Dental Association, the Ninth District Dental Society and the Pennsylvania and American Dental Associations. He is also a fellow for the International College and American College of Dentists.
About the Pennsylvania Dental Association
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 5,500 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA's mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. For more information on PDA, visit our website at www.padental.org.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association