Widen the Reach of Dental Care

Dental Assisting students brushing a stuffed animals teeth

As a Community Dental Health Coordinator

Registered dental assistants and hygienists can now advance their skills thanks to a new online program at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.

Dental Assisting student putting away dental tools

The Community Dental Health Coordination Certificate (CDHC) is a short-term, nine-month, program providing the education needed to work as community health workers reaching out to those people who might not normally have the means to afford proper dental care.


The CDHC Coordinator is a member of the dental team using their expertise to link patients to available, but underutilized, dental care.

They focus on:

  • Case management
  • Navigation
  • Oral health education and promotion
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Community mapping
Barb Nichol
Barb Nichol

“This is the perfect program for those dental assistants and dental hygienists who are passionate about helping others and making a difference in the community,” said Barb Nichol, EICC Dental Program Director.

It’s all part of a nationwide effort led by the American Dental Association to reduce disparities in dental health access and improve the oral health of those in underserved communities. EICC is the first college in Iowa to offer the program and only the second college in the country to offer it in an online format.

Currently, there are only 134 CDHC graduates across the country. Eastern Iowa Community Colleges hopes to grow that number by offering this valuable training.

CDHCs work in:

  • Clinics
  • Schools
  • Private practices
  • Public health settings

For registration and program information visit eicc.edu/cdhc

Author: alaneastern

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