Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awards more than $200,000 to 14 Illinois organizations

New Wisdom Tooth Award, community grants program help improve oral health of Illinois children

NAPERVILLE, Ill. - December 10, 2013 – The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, recently awarded $208,000 to 14 Illinois organizations, including a $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award and $108,000 in community grants, to help improve the oral health of children within the state.

“Too many children in Illinois suffer from oral health problems that could have been minimized or even prevented with proper oral health education and care,” said Craig Grannon, chair of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Grants Committee. “We are proud to support 14 organizations that further educate and provide much needed oral health services to children across Illinois.”

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awarded the following grants to help improve the oral health of Illinois children.

Promise Healthcare, Champaign: $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award As the first-ever recipient of the Wisdom Tooth Award, Promise Healthcare will use the award to expand the number of children it reaches with its SmileHealthy Well Child Hygiene Project over the next two years. These expanded efforts will include the organization’s work as a dental home delivering care and as a resource for families through outreach and education initiatives. The organization’s clinic will be able to be open one additional day each week and its mobile clinic will be expanded to three days per week. The award will also help improve the connection and coordination of all Promise Healthcare services and sites to more effectively educate families about the importance of oral health at a young age.

Community Nurse Health Association, LaGrange: $8,000 grant Community Nurse Health Association serves as a dental home for low-income children and provides continuity of oral health care for currently enrolled patients and access for new patients, including those connected through the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s Land of Smiles program. The grant will provide two dental visits for approximately 160 children ages 1 to 17.

Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola: $5,000 grant The grant will support a partnership between the Douglas County Health Department Dental Clinic and the Wellness on Wheels van, which will make two trips to the Amish and Mennonite schools in Douglas and Moultrie Counties. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 will receive education, exams, cleanings and referrals.

Erie Family Health Center, Chicago: $10,000 grant Erie Family Health Center will use the grant to expand its oral health services to the Evanston/Skokie Health Center and realize one of its key strategic goals of strengthening the integration of medical and dental services to provide comprehensive and holistic patient-centered care.

Howard Area Community Center, Chicago: $10,000 grant The Howard Area Dental Clinic has a year-round program that delivers oral health education and awareness and access to care for 250 Illinois children living below the poverty level. Funding will help support outreach and education efforts, as well as deliver screenings and the development of treatment plans.

Illinois State Dental Society Foundation, Springfield: $10,000 grant The grant will help fund Illinois Mission of Mercy, a two-day program that travels throughout the state to provide free dental care to patients who otherwise would not have access to oral health care. Funding will help support the projected 400 children who will receive service during the event.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago: $10,000 grant The grant will help fund a dentist to provide oral health care to Infant Welfare Society of Chicago’s lowincome, uninsured patients, including 300 children. The organization’s innovative pediatric dental program addresses both access to care and oral health education and awareness and currently serves nearly 2,000 children annually ages six months to 18 years and provides prenatal dental screenings for more than 500 pregnant women.

Lake Land College, Mattoon: $10,000 grant At Lake Land College Dental Hygiene Clinic, student hygienists conduct oral exams, cleanings, x-rays and fluoride treatments under the supervision of instructors. The grant provides funding for a digital panoramic unit, which will allow the clinic to more safely serve approximately 250 children, ages 18 months to 18 years.

Little City Foundation, Palatine: $5,000 grant Little City Foundation’s Center for Health and Wellness Oral Health Program provides access to comprehensive, best practice oral health care and treatment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Little City Foundation plans to serve more than 150 children with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities with this grant.

McHenry County Cooperative Dental Clinic, Woodstock: $5,000 grant Funding will help McHenry County Cooperative Dental Clinic provide comprehensive early intervention oral health education to new parents and caregivers participating in the McHenry County WIC program. It is anticipated that this grant will help the clinic serve 200 Illinois children (newborn to 36 months).

Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society, Oak Park: $10,000 grant The Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society’s Oral Health Education and Outreach Program addresses barriers to affordable preventive dental care as well as the gaps in health knowledge that reduce positive health outcomes for the low-income children in the communities it serves. Two components of the program will be funded with this grant: direct service and health education. In 2014, 1,000 Illinois elementary school students will receive preventive dental care through the Portable Dentistry Program. Additionally, 2,700 Illinois elementary and preschool students and parents will participate in classroom-based Oral Health and Nutrition Education workshops.

Promise Healthcare, Champaign: $5,000 grant As part of the SmileHealthy Well Child Hygiene Project, the grant will support a dental hygienist for the Frances Nelson Health Center well-child and prenatal clinics, including oral health education and introduction of patients to an onsite dental center. Nearly 1,500 children are expected to be served through the well child clinic, as well as 250 pregnant women, preparing them to take care of their children’s oral health.

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services, Alton: $10,000 grant Riverbend Head Start’s Oral Health Access project provides dental screenings, preventive care, cavity treatment and oral health education to children from birth to age 5 and expectant parents in Madison County. The grant will help provide access to oral health services for more than 850 low-income infants, toddlers, preschoolers and expectant parents through child development programs that promote school readiness.

The Children’s Place Association, Chicago: $5,000 grant The grant will help support the Dental Health Program for HIV/AIDS affected preschoolers, specifically supporting the school nurse position at the Early Learning Center. The position coordinates dental health care and education for these children, including arranging biannual on-site dental exams through a visiting “Dental Van” for 65 children ages 2 to 5.

The Hope School, Springfield: $5,000 grant Funding will support Noll Dental Clinic staff, who provide a full range of oral health care services to children with special needs, including desensitization, preventive and restorative dental services. This population of children has extremely limited access to oral health care in central Illinois. The school plans to provide services and education to 1,000 children in 2014.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation will acknowledge the 14 Illinois organizations at a reception at its office in Naperville on Jan. 23.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation launched its grants program in 2008. The Community Grants program is a more recent program launched in 2012 through an annual online application process. The new $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award and community grant awards are given annually to recognize Illinois nonprofit organizations that work to improve Illinois children’s oral health by providing education and/or access to oral health resources and care. The next Wisdom Tooth Award application cycle will be in the spring of 2014 and the next community grants program application cycle will be in the fall of 2014.

Both award programs are designed to help expand or enhance existing children’s oral health programs in Illinois. Illinois public charities classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and public or governmental entities, such as a public schools or health departments, are encouraged and eligible to apply.

To learn more about the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Wisdom Tooth Award and community grants program or to support the Foundation, please visit


About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation (DDILF) was formed in March 2008 by Delta Dental of Illinois (DDIL), a not-for-profit dental service corporation with a mission to improve the oral health of the communities it serves. DDILF is the charitable arm of DDIL and works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois. In the past decade, combined efforts of DDIL and DDILF have provided more than $2 million to programs and organizations that provide oral health education and expand access to oral health care for Illinois residents. DDIL provides dental benefit programs to individuals and more than 5,000 employee groups throughout Illinois and covers two million employees and family members nationwide. DDIL and DDILF are based in Naperville, Illinois.