HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 13 Two students from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School have received one-time scholarships of $2,500 per student from United Concordia Dental to help pay for tuition. Maritza Chavez, 23, of McAllen, Texas, and Winston Faltine, 25, of Houston, were chosen for their academic achievements and contributions to the community.
"We are proud to provide these two outstanding students with scholarships," said Harlon L. Robinson, corporate vice president of human resources and administration and diversity chairman, United Concordia Dental. "This program is an example of United Concordia Dental's longstanding commitment to the education of women and minority students."
United Concordia Dental created a scholarship and grant program to help recruit women and minorities to the dentistry profession and to improve access to dental care for those in need.
"Many dental schools realize that minority communities have a disproportionate burden of dental problems and a short supply of minority providers," said Gary Delz, DDS, United Concordia's Texas dental director. "This year's recipients have demonstrated a strong desire to help their communities through a career in dentistry."
After graduation from dental school in 2013, Faltine and Chavez plan to provide dental services to the underinsured and uninsured. Chavez said she plans to use her skills as a dentist to serve children in the Rio Grande Valley, where she grew up. "I chose to become a dentist because when I was growing up, my family could not afford dental care," Chavez said. "I believe that as a health care professional, I will be in a position where I can help serve the needy. When I graduate, I plan to return to the Rio Grande Valley and serve my community."
Faltine said he hopes to practice in Texas. His wish to become a dentist started in Venezuela, where he was born and raised. "I grew up in a small town where my mom was one of the few dentists available," he said. "We lived above my mother's dental clinic, and I still remember watching patients coming to the house during weekends and holidays with teeth issues. My commitment and passion began there and remains strong. As I learn more about this exciting field, it grows even stronger."
United Concordia awarded scholarships and grants to 20 students during the 2008-2009 school year at the Harrisburg (Pa.) Area Community College (HACC) Dental Hygiene Program; Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry; University of North Carolina School of Dentistry; University of New Mexico Division of Dental Hygiene; and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School. The grants were awarded to students at six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Bowie State and Morgan State universities in Md., and Elizabeth City State, North Carolina A&T State, North Carolina Central and Winston Salem State universities in North Carolina.
About United Concordia
United Concordia, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., is one of the nation's largest dental insurers, with nearly 8 million members worldwide and 2008 revenues of $1.4 billion. United Concordia has a companywide dedication and commitment to superior customer service which is evident in the design, implementation, administration and servicing of its dental benefits programs. For more information about United Concordia products, visit www.unitedconcordia.com.
SOURCE United Concordia