MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Two dentists from northeastern Minnesota were recently awarded the first installment of a loan forgiveness grant as part of the Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program. Dr. Alex Lund and Dr. Whitney Johnson Cobby each received a check for $30,000 from Dr. Stephen Litton, president of the Minnesota Dental Foundation, and Dr. Michael Zakula, past president of the Minnesota Dental Association.

Also in attendance at the check presentation was former Representative Tom Rukavina who was instrumental in making the loan forgiveness program a reality through state legislation passed in 2010. The program, which was named in honor of Rukavina’s late mother Martha Mordini Rukavina, provides an incentive to attract dentists to practice in the Taconite Assistance Area (TAA), a designated dental shortage area in northeastern Minnesota. The program provides up to two dentists with funds to help repay qualified dental education loans if they agree to practicing full time in the TAA for a period of five years. Recipients are compensated for outstanding educational debt at a rate of $30,000 per year for four years.

Grant Recipients

Dr. Lund is a 2013 graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and is now practicing in Hibbing, with Dental Health Service of Northern Minnesota.

Dr. Cobby is a 2013 graduate of Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in Glendale, Arizona and is now practicing in Virginia, at Virginia Gilbert Family Dental.

In the Photo (L to R): Former Rep. Tom Rukavina, Dr. Michael Zakula, Dr. Whitney Johnson Cobby, Dr. Alex Lund, Dr. Stephen Litton. Check presentation at Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm.

The Minnesota Dental Association is the voice of dentistry in Minnesota, representing practicing dentists. It is committed to the highest standards of oral health and access to care for all Minnesotans. You can learn more at www.mndental.org.