Dear Dean / Program Director:
The Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), a national Association in its 21st year of existence, is comprised of a diverse membership of oral health professionals, students, and others who have a passion for the mission of the HDA, “As the leading voice for Hispanic oral health, we provide Service, Education, Advocacy, and Leadership for the elimination of oral health disparities in the Hispanic community.”
The Hispanic population is the fastest growing segment in the United States. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 50.5 million Hispanics living in the U.S. One out of every six people in the U.S. is Hispanic. Unfortunately Hispanics are underrepresented in medical and dental professions, allied health field and academia. According to Hispanic Business, the percentage of Hispanics with bachelor’s or higher degrees has increased from 8.5 percent in 1985 to 13.2 in 2009, this is well below the general population that have such degrees. In many states across the country, we have reached a crisis in low Hispanic dental student enrollment. If together we do not do something now, the Hispanic community may suffer dire circumstances. If you are in an area that the Hispanic population represents over 25% of the population, we urge you to increase acceptance of Hispanic dental students to meet the demands of a rapidly growing Hispanic population.
One of the Association’s objectives is to increase the presence of Hispanic students and other students interested in serving Hispanic populations in the dental health sciences. We know that dental and dental hygiene schools throughout the United States share this concern, and we are asking you to join with us to advance the cause of oral health in the Hispanic Community by becoming an Institutional Member of the Hispanic Dental Association or renewing your previous membership. Through your participation, we can work together to give the underrepresented students a brighter future in the oral health professions.
The Annual Institutional Membership for the Hispanic Dental Association runs August, 2011 through July, 2012. We hope that you will choose to add your support and energy to our effort.