ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Monday, Congressman Paul Tonko announced the Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center has been awarded a $499,999 grant for its Dental Residency Program. The funds were made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Since the expansion of those qualifying for Medicaid in New York State, we have seen a dramatic increase in demand for dental services for Medicaid recipients,” said Congressman Tonko. “Whitney Young Health’s proposal to establish a community-based dental residency program will help provide these services to thousands of low-income residents of our region.

“The capacity to serve dental patients in the Capital District, regardless of income, for their dental needs has eroded to a crisis level,” said Dave Shippee, President and CEO of Whitney Young Health. “This $500,000 federal grant award will greatly assist in building the infrastructure to support the establishment of a Dental Residency Program. Establishing a long-term training program in a safety net setting has the ability to significantly impact where dental school graduates will be motivated to practice upon completion of their postdoctoral training.”