36 Illinois Health Centers Receive $3 Million in COVID-19 Grants

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation partners with Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation in combined relief effort

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (Sept. 24, 2020) – Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, in partnership with Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, awarded over $3 million in grants to 36 Illinois Federally Qualified Health Centers and other public health clinics that deliver vital health care services. The Foundations developed the grant opportunity to help offset costs associated with reopening and continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grants were focused on these health centers and clinics because they offer crucial services to Illinois residents who are underserved and may face obstacles to receiving needed care. The Foundations are committed to eliminating health disparities and recognize the important role these organizations have in providing care.

Grants of up to $100,000 were available to Illinois health centers and clinics that integrate oral health into a primary health care setting.

“While these clinics have seen a significant financial impact as a result of the pandemic, they must continue to serve their patients who are often uninsured or underserved to ensure health disparities do not increase,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “By partnering with these organizations, we work to improve overall health and well-being for countless Illinoisans.”

“Far too many Illinoisans face barriers to achieving good oral and overall health, and the pandemic has only increased those barriers,” said Bob Egan, senior program officer of Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. “Through this grant program, we are helping those in our communities get access to vital health services during this health crisis and beyond.” 

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation provided $1.5 million in grants to 17 Illinois organizations, while the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation awarded $1.5 million to 19 Illinois organizations.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation grant recipients include:

Alivio Medical Center, Chicago — $100,000

This grant will go toward general operating support for children’s oral health services. Funding will be used to support staffing, as well as personal protective equipment for the dental department. Alivio provides health care to the uninsured and underinsured, including many from the Latino community.

Asian Human Services Family Health Center Inc., Chicago — $100,000

The Asian Human Services Family Health Center Inc. operates four Federally Qualified Health Centers in Chicago and the northern suburbs for anyone who needs care, regardless of ability to pay. The centers will use the grant funding for general operating costs so they can continue to prioritize children, ensuring their youngest patients have the care they need.

Beloved Community Family Wellness Center, Chicago — $99,643

Beloved Community Family Wellness Center plans to add an additional operatory to reduce patient wait time and enhance disinfectant procedures with its grant funds. Beloved offers services to patients and families in Englewood and surrounding communities.

Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc., Cairo — $100,000

This grant will allow Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc. to maintain its dental staff of six dentists, three dental hygienists, 12 dental assistants and six front desk/intake workers, while adding an outreach worker to encourage families to bring in their children for oral health services. In addition, the organization — which serves seven Illinois counties with its 11 facilities — will provide children’s dental services through its mobile health clinic program. This will help eliminate barriers to accessing care and support children’s growth and development.   

Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Chicago — $100,000

The Community Health Partnership of Illinois is using its funding to maintain and expand oral health services for the uninsured and underserved, including children of rural, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The funds will allow the partnership to hire a part-time dentist so patients can continue to be served in a timely manner. In addition, the partnership plans to upgrade its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at its largest site to better prevent spreading viral and bacterial infections.

Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola — $73,000

Douglas County Health Department serves Douglas County and four bordering counties, providing care to some of the most vulnerable populations including the uninsured, underinsured and individuals with special needs. This grant will be used for new equipment, including a non-invasive panoramic machine, which helps make it easier to deliver X-rays and other imaging for children.  

Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago — $59,986

Howard Brown Health Center delivers health services to patients in areas disproportionately affected by health disparities at 11 clinical sites throughout Chicago, with a focus on the LGBTQ community, its allies and people with HIV/AIDS. This grant will support staff and construction costs for the health center’s newly opened pediatric dental suite in Englewood, as well as costs for personal protective equipment.

Macon County Health Department, Decatur — $100,000

The Macon County Health Department Dental Clinic is a six-unit dental clinic with digital radiograph and computer software. The grant will be used to support the clinic’s operation and ensure that its 1,800 patients and many others who have called the clinic in search of a dental home receive the care they need.

Macoupin Community Health Centers Inc., Carlinville — $50,000

The Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc. serves 15 counties and about 5,300 dental patients each year. More than half of those served are children. The grant will support the new clinic’s staff during implementation and ongoing operations and help purchase personal protective equipment and aerosol-reducing dental instruments.

Pillars, La Grange — $100,000

Funding from this grant will help with operating support for Pillars, ensuring it can retain staff and meet demand for oral health services in the coming year for individuals needing care in western Cook and eastern DuPage counties.   

Primecare Community Health Inc., Chicago — $25,000

Primecare Community Health Inc. will apply its grant toward dental supplies for preventive, restorative and emergency care. The funding will assist air ventilation and/or filtration systems that reduce airborne pathogens in exam areas. The grant will also be used to support dental staff at the West Town clinic.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon — $100,000

The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center is located between Charleston and Mattoon and serves a 10-county area. Sarah Bush Lincoln Dental Services is an outreach program of the health center that delivers oral health services and education to low-income children through dental clinics and mobile care units. The center will use its funding to help purchase additional personal protective equipment and disinfectant to continue to provide services to the thousands of individuals it serves.

Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation, Carterville — $100,000 

Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation provides quality oral health care to southern Illinois and southwestern Indiana residents. The grant will help support dental staff to ensure it continues to provide quality dental health care for its patients, especially children.

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, School of Allied Health, Carbondale — $100,000

The Southern Illinois University Center for Family Medicine has 14 clinics located in Springfield, Quincy, Decatur, Carbondale, Jacksonville and Lincoln. The health center offers special programs for low-income and uninsured patients. This grant will be used to support a dentist and hygienist in Logan County to ensure children have access to oral health services.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Chicago —$100,000 

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the UIC College of Dentistry is the largest provider of dental care for underserved children in Illinois. Grant funding will cover costs of additional required personal protective equipment, as well as powered air-purifying respirators that are crucial to ensure viable operations.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry — Mile Square Health Center, Rockford — $100,000

The Mile Square Health Center will offer dental services in Rockford by transitioning the LP Johnson outpatient facility on the campus of Swedish American Hospital. The grant will be used to help convert three existing medical exam rooms into dental operatories, including providing dental chairs, dental delivery carts, radiographic imaging devices and sterilization equipment. The Rockford center will serve an area that is lacking dental care, with the goal of increasing the number of school-aged children who have a dental home.

VNA Health Care, Aurora — $100,000 

VNA Health Care was founded in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic to provide health care services to those in need. The grant will be used to help cover expenses associated with the general operations of its dental program, located in its largest health center in Aurora.

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation grant recipients include:

Advocate Charitable Foundation, Downers Grove — $70,561

The Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center Department of Dentistry serves patients through three clinics. These include children with social, medical and developmental challenges, as well as young adults from high-need communities around metropolitan Chicago. Grant funding will support safety and equipment modifications necessary to continue to provide care to patients.

Central Counties Health Centers, Inc., Springfield — $100,000

This funding will help Central Counties Health Centers, Inc. with general operating costs for its dental program, including safety precautions and personal protective equipment.

Chicago Family Health Center, Inc., Chicago — $100,000

The Chicago Family Health Center, Inc. provides care for the medically underserved on Chicago’s south and southeast sides through a network of six locations. The Center will use its grant to purchase infection-prevention equipment and fund structural layout changes that align with safety protocols.

Crusaders Central Clinic Association, Rockford — $100,000

Crusaders Central Clinic Association plans to use its grant to add negative pressure rooms to its dental clinics to help prevent cross-contamination from room to room. The clinics serve the Rock River Valley in northern Illinois.

DuPage County Health Department, Wheaton — $90,194

The DuPage County Health Department will use its grant to purchase personal protective equipment for dental staff at both of its fixed clinics and mobile Smile Squad. Additionally, funding will be used to enhance operations, including adding filtration systems and fluoride varnish rooms, as well as supporting a dental hygienist.

Erie Family Health Foundation, Inc., Chicago — $100,000

Erie Family Health Foundation, Inc. will use its funding to help rebuild its capacity to pre-pandemic levels and continue to provide services to its pediatric patients, many who are from low-income families. Their goal is to reach 60% of that capacity this year, serving a minimum of 6,354 children annually.

Greater Elgin Family Care Center, Elgin — $100,000

The Greater Elgin Family Care Center will use the grant to support its pediatric oral health program at Seneca Health Center & Dental Clinic. Funding will be used to maintain the clinic’s capacity and staffing to provide an array of dental services to address the need for dental care for children in its service area.

Hancock County Dental Center, Carthage — $89,782

The Hancock County Dental Center is the only Medicaid provider in Hancock County and serves children in its own county, as well as from other counties without a Medicaid provider. The funding will support a hygienist and sustain the center’s preventive care and sealant program for children.

Heartland International Health Center, Chicago — $100,000

Heartland will use its grant for staffing resources and program leadership, as well as specialized filtration and extraction equipment and personal protective equipment for dentists and staff.

Eagle View Community Health System, Oquawka — $24,458

Eagle View Community Health System plans to use its grant for a negative pressure dental space at its Stronghurst dental clinic and to purchase two new X-ray machines. Eagle View Community Health System serves Henderson, Warren, Mercer and McDonough counties, with a focus on those who are underinsured and underserved, specifically children.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago — $100,000

The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago will use its grant to support its operations so it can continue to serve those in need, including underserved children and families.

Lawndale Christian Health Center, Chicago — $50,000

Lawndale Christian Health Center is the medical home to more than 65,000 low-income patients, including 19,500 children, and offers a variety of services, including dental care. Grant funds will help support staff and operations.

McLean County Health Department, Bloomington — $55,407

The McLean County Health Department serves one of Illinois’ largest counties with 172,000 residents. The department will use its grant to offset expenses associated with modified safety enhancements as a result of the pandemic.

Milestone Inc., Loves Park — $10,000

Milestone is using its funds for equipment to maintain proper sanitation and safety at its clinic for patients and staff. The grant will help the clinic to continue meeting the oral health needs of new patients each month and reduce appointment wait times for patients who travel from 40 counties in Illinois to receive needed care.

Mobile CARE Foundation, Chicago — $24,000

The Mobile CARE Foundation will use its grant to support its Mobile Care Chicago program, which uses mobile medical clinics to provide children access to specialty care. The grant will assist with renovations to its mobile unit clinics, helping ensure the safety of patients during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Near North Health Service Corporation, Chicago — $100,000

Near North Health Service Corporation will use the grant to purchase air purification units so it can increase in-person oral health education and services provided by four dentists at the corporation’s health centers, instead of using telehealth exclusively.

SIHF Healthcare, Sauget — $95,695

SIHF Healthcare will use its funds for air filtration systems, the installation of plexiglass barriers and personal protective equipment. SIHF cares for more than 106,000 patients from southwestern Illinois stretching from the Mississippi River outside St. Louis across Illinois to the Indiana border.

IWS Children’s Clinic, Oak Park — $100,000

IWS Children’s Clinic plans to use its grant to support dental staff and purchase personal protective equipment. The clinic provides health services to children and families unable to afford the cost of private health care.

Well Child Center, Elgin — $100,000

The Well Child Center provides health and social services for low-income families and uninsured, at-risk children who live in Kane County. Grant funding will help the Center purchase personal protective equipment for its dental staff.

This most recent round of grants totaling $3 million comes after a combined $2.1 million in grants earlier this year. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awarded $1 million to 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers in late June, while the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation recently awarded $1.1 million to 22 Federally Qualified Health Centers.

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 by Delta Dental of Illinois, a not-for-profit dental service corporation with a mission to improve overall health and well-being. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $11 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information about Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, please see www.deltadentalil.com.

About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Fund

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: Every child in Illinois grows up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grant making on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. For more information, go to ilchf.org.