HARRISBURG – Legislation that will give educational credits to dentists who volunteer at free clinics and charity events became law last week, said Sen. Scott Martin (R-13).
“Those who participate not only hone their skills but expose themselves, in many cases, to progressive dental emergencies that arise from lack of routine care,” Martin said. “I believe this type of volunteerism should be encouraged and its value should be properly recognized.”
Senator Martin’s Senate Bill 1173 became Act 159 and will allow professionals to claim up to three hours served at a volunteer clinic or a charitable event as continuing education credit. It was approved in the House of Representatives in late October after unanimously passing the Senate in June.
Multiple studies link poor oral health to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and overall health and wellbeing. These volunteer opportunities provide critical access to underserved populations who often fall through the cracks in our existing health care system and face poorer outcomes, Martin said.
“This law not only improves the healthcare of many of our constituents in the short term, but as mentioned before, it would go a long way to preventing long-term diseases, which of course means less of a financial burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers as a result,” Martin said.
CONACT: Terry Trego, 717-787-6535