Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awards $1 million grant to Advocate Health Care Charitable Foundation

Funding for new dental clinic for individuals with special needs at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Dec. 29, 2021) – Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, is pleased to announce a $1 million grant has been awarded to Advocate Health Care Charitable Foundation to assist in the funding of a new dental facility at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. This new comprehensive dental clinic will expand capacity to provide dental services to children and adults with special needs. The clinic will have two outpatient dental anesthesia suites, two outpatient procedure rooms, two dental operatories dedicated to providing oral health services for special needs patients and two recovery rooms. 

“We are pleased to support Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in increasing access to oral health care for those with special needs,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “Individuals with special needs often need special accommodations when receiving oral health treatment, and too many face significant barriers in achieving good oral health. This grant will help increase oral health equity for those with special needs, helping more Illinoisans with special needs receive quality dental care.” 

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s current outpatient dental facility has completed 600 procedures that require dental anesthesia for individuals with special needs since 2019. They currently have more than 160 patients on their waiting list to receive treatment. The new dental facility will allow Advocate Illinois Masonic to reduce wait times for patients to receive dental treatment, as well as allow treatment of 250-500 more patients each year who have medically complex cases and special needs and require general anesthesia. The new clinic will be in the same building as the Pediatric Developmental Center. 

“Our vision is to continue to close the gap and improve access to oral health care for children and adults with special needs,” said Dr. James Benz, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center’s Department of Dentistry chair. “With these significant facility updates, we are making a tremendous impact in addressing oral health care gaps and disparities for the community we serve.” 

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center President Susan Nordstrom Lopez added, “We are grateful to Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, our largest donor for this $4.2 million project. Their generosity will help fulfill this vision of providing quality treatment and improving the oral and overall health for children and adults with special needs.”

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

Delta Dental is the national dental benefits leader covering 1 in 3 Americans who have dental coverage. Delta Dental of Illinois is one of 39 member companies that make up the national Delta Dental system. Based in Naperville, Illinois, Delta Dental of Illinois provides dental benefit programs to more than 6,000 Illinois companies and covers 2 million individuals, employees and family members nationwide. Delta Dental of Illinois is committed to improving oral health in our community and furthers this commitment through the work of its 501(c)(3) charitable arm, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $15 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information, visit deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.