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FAMU Begins Push for Dentistry School

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-900534.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida needs more dentists and a lawsuit filed against the state shows there is a lack of dental healthcare available to children on Medicaid. There are only two dental schools in the state, and only one of them is public. Now, Florida A&M University is starting its push to establish a dental school in North Florida.

FAMU failed to get a requested $1.5-million from lawmakers to start work on a study for the school, but President Dr. James Ammons says the plan is still going forward.

"So while we don't have all of the funding necessary, we do have funding to start the study and hopefully as we move through this next fiscal year, Florida A&M University will be granted the full funding to address this study."

The university wants to build on its School of Public Health and College of Pharmacy programs, but an actual dentistry school is still at least five years away. The process starts with a study of need and financial feasibility before proposals go to the university's Board of Trustees, then Board of Governors, and ultimately the Legislature for approval.