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University of Iowa News Release

March 29, 2003

UI Graduate Student Receives First Delta Dental Plan Of Iowa Thesis Award

Michelle McQuistan, D.D.S., a dental public health graduate student at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, is the first recipient of a new grant to advance research on the costs and effectiveness of dental care in Iowa.

The Delta Dental Plan of Iowa Graduate Thesis Award is designed to encourage research that will lead to better care. UI master’s and doctoral students are eligible for awards of up to $15,000, which supports thesis research on common dental services for Iowans or the effectiveness of particular procedures for specific dental conditions.

McQuistan, a UI master’s degree student in dental public health and oral science who will graduate in May, is studying how Iowa general dentists refer patients to pediatric dental specialists. Delta Dental will provide $3,000 to help her complete her research.

“We are proud to announce this program, which we anticipate will have a long-term impact on the overall health of all Iowans,” said Ed Schooley, D.D.S., vice president and dental director for Delta Dental Plan of Iowa.

Delta Dental estimates that Iowans spend more than $500 million on dental care each year. The thesis award program is intended to identify how dental services might become more cost-effective, making better use of dental resources.

“We applaud Delta Dental for initiating this program and utilizing the expertise of our dental school,” said David Johnsen, D.D.S., dean of the UI College of Dentistry. “This is another example of how Delta Dental is supporting educational and research projects to promote the dental and overall health of all Iowans.”

Originally from Ankeny, Iowa, McQuistan is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and the UI College of Dentistry, where she received her D.D.S. degree in 2001. She also completed a one-year advanced program in general dentistry at the University of Florida in Jacksonville.

Delta Dental Plan of Iowa is the largest provider of dental insurance benefits in Iowa. It is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, the largest dental benefits carrier in the nation. Nationally, Delta Dental provides coverage to more than 43 million people in nearly 75,000 employer groups, contracting with three of every four U.S. dentists in 141,000 locations.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5141 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

CONTACT(S): Lin Larson, 319-335-9569, Program: Ed Schooley, D.D.S., Delta Dental Plan of Iowa, 515-261-5502,