PITTSTON, PA — March 1, 2022 — This year, Benco Dental is giving back with every enrollment in its Benco Select rewards program. With every enrollment or re-enrollment, the nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor will donate a portion of the fees to the Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman Endowment. The scholarship’s namesake, Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman, was the first African-American person in the U.S. to receive a degree in dentistry from an academic institution.
The Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman Endowment is the first dental school scholarship offered through the United Negro College Fund, in partnership with the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation. Its goal: To help end underrepresentation of Black, Native, Indigenous and LatinX communities in dental education.
“The DTA Foundation is more than proud to collaborate with the Benco Family Foundation on this new scholarship with UNCF. By helping historically underrepresented minority students start their dental school journey, the new Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman scholarship has the potential to impact access to the dental profession for years to come.” – Sarah Miller, Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Executive Director.
Prior to Freeman earning his degree at Harvard Dental School in 1869, he apprenticed in dentistry but was denied entrance by two dental schools on the basis of race. After graduation, he opened a dental practice in Washington D.C. where he dedicated efforts to mentorship.
Although diversity in dentistry has been increasing over the last 15 years, according to American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, “the racial mix of the dentist workforce does not reflect the United States population.” This new scholarship aims to continue increasing diversity in dentistry and allow for greater access to higher education.
“The Benco Family Foundation (BFF) recognizes the problems: lack of underrepresented minorities – primarily Black/African American, Native/Indigenous, and LatinX – and the tuition barrier. And, the BFF wants to be part of the solution by helping create the Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman Scholarship.”
Rebecca Binder, Executive Director of the Benco Family Foundation.
Through 2022, Benco will donate a portion of Benco Select enrollment and re-enrollment fees to the Dr. Robert Tanner Freeman Endowment.
Benco Select is dentistry’s first loyalty rewards program. When enrolled into this membership program, dentists receive benefits, including discounts and the ability to earn BluChips, which they can later redeem on all Benco purchases. Since the inception of BluChips, Benco customers have earned over three billion BluChips, which have been redeemed for equipment and services, account credit, donations to worthy charities and products that help dentists enrich their practices.
About Benco Dental
Benco Dental is Driving Dentistry Forward® with innovative solutions and our caring family culture. Our industry firsts include Painless® electronic ordering, automated supply management, BluChip® customer loyalty rewards, CenterPoint design/equipment superstores and OneVisitTM open architecture CAD/CAM. Independent since 1930, our over 1,500 dedicated associates serve customers at locations nationwide including 400+ sales representatives and 300+ factory-trained service technicians. Benco Dental is one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma and among Pennsylvania Best Places to Work® for 12 of 15 prior years.
About Benco Family Foundation
The Benco Family Foundation is dedicated to improving the dental health and quality of life in local communities and around the world. Established in 2005, it supports oral health solutions and community organizations that are innovative, sustainable, measurable and impactful. Learn more at bencofamilyfoundation.benco.com
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