On July 14, 2022, the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and the DALE Foundation convened leaders in dentistry, oral health, and healthcare for the Dental Assistant Stakeholder Forum on the Future Workforce.
The forum brought together executives and strategists from more than 20 organizations to share their perspectives and identify ways to collectively work toward solutions to assure that dental teams of the future are effective, prepared and adequately staffed, particularly in light of significant workforce shortages.
DANB and the DALE Foundation have published the outcomes of the forum as a summary report. The report highlights key discussions and insights from the session in a distilled format.
“During the session, we explored key issues, identified opportunities, created initiatives, and defined actions,” said DANB and DALE Foundation CEO Laura Skarnulis. “Participants brought tremendous energy and enthusiasm for this work, and there was great discussion around future collaborative efforts. The report is a concise summary of the work we did during a very full day of discovery and creative thinking.”
Participants identified initiatives that could be undertaken across the dental profession to meet future dental team and workforce needs. Several ideas emerged, with much alignment on the broad themes including:
- Form a workforce coalition
- Improve workforce development
- Build partnerships to enhance diversity
- Focus on outreach and recruitment models
- Develop a standard model for dental assistant training, education and credentials
“The dental assistant workforce shortage is a critical issue, which is putting a strain on the profession and could impact patient care if not addressed,” Skarnulis said. “DANB and the DALE Foundation recognize the urgency of this issue and are hopeful that it can be addressed through concerted efforts and collaboration. We are grateful for the dedicated engagement of all participants and are hopeful that the work done during the session will lead to significant progress in addressing key issues regarding the dental workforce. We look forward to exploring these initiatives and the potential collaboration opportunities with our stakeholders.”