In 2006, The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics received a grant from Delta Dental of Iowa to start the Office of Iowa Practice Opportunities (OIPO) and hire a full-time Iowa Practice Opportunities Coordinator. A coordinator was hired in January 2007 to manage the office and facilitate communication between students, dentists, and communities.
The OIPO has become an integral component in recruiting and retaining dentists in the state of Iowa. It is the first place many students go to when they are beginning the process of deciding what to do after graduation. Since its inception, the OIPO has helped facilitate 173 placements with 78 of those placements in rural Iowa communities. (April 30, 2014)
In April 2014, Retaining New Dentists in Iowa: A Role for Dental Schools in Facilitating Graduates’ Connections to Practice Opportunities in Underserved Areas was published in the Journal of Dental Education (JDE). In January 2015, it was chosen by the JDE editor as one of the Top 12 articles in 2014.
The OIPO has received financial support from Delta Dental of Iowa (2006 to 2012), from Health Resources and Services Administration (September 2010 through August 2011; September 2013 to present) and from The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics since its inception.