Dr. Susan McKernan received a National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Loan Repayment Program award. McKernan received the award for her research targeting oral health disparities in low income and rural populations. The award pays $35,000 per year for two years for health professionals conducting health disparities research.
McKernan is an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry in the UI College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics and researcher in the Health Policy Research Program.
“Right now, average dental student debt at graduation is over $250,000. This award relieves some of the financial pressure on early career health professionals that may otherwise discourage us from pursuing research careers in academia,” McKernan said.
The NIMHD program offers loan repayment awards to health professionals with doctoral degrees. Awardees must conduct health disparities or clinical research in nonfederal research settings for at least two years. The program aims to increase the pool of highly qualified researchers who conduct health disparities research. More information about the program is available here.