Delta Dental of Illinois Impacts 170,000+ Illinoisans Through Community Programs and Support

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (May 30, 2024) – Delta Dental of Illinois and its 501(c)(3) charitable arm, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, invested nearly $2 million in 2023, positively impacting more than 170,000 Illinoisans, as detailed in its 2023 Corporate Social Responsibility SMILE Report. The report outlines how Delta Dental of Illinois and its Foundation work to expand oral health education and access to care, as well as its overall philanthropic and social impact initiatives throughout the state. 

Delta Dental of Illinois is one of the member companies of Delta Dental Plans Association. Nationally, Delta Dental member companies invested nearly $109 million to support programs, research, and advocacy that positively impacted over 20 million lives in 2022.

“Each year, we continue to advance and enhance our corporate citizenship efforts to ensure a positive impact on our members, partners, communities, and all those we serve,” says John Maples, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. “This year is no exception, and I’m eager to see what we – together – will accomplish in the years to come to help make Illinois an even healthier place to live, work, and thrive.” 

As a non-profit, Delta Dental of Illinois’ vision is to improve health and wellbeing for our customers and communities. The organization is dedicated to ensuring that every Illinoisan has access to quality health care and education. Through its philanthropic efforts, Delta Dental of Illinois works to support and empower local communities, foster a sustainable future, and maintain a diverse and inclusive organization to drive better health outcomes. 

“We are intentional about our commitment to improving oral health literacy, equity, and access,” says Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “This commitment starts with our employees and extends to our grantmaking, educational program delivery and training, dental school partnerships, and community support. By expanding access to care, funding facilities, training for dentists, and providing education for local communities, we help build healthier communities.”

Initiatives in 2023 include:

  • Expanding access to care. Through its Community Grants Program, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation continues its commitment to expanding access to care. Last year, the Foundation supported 18 nonprofit and community organizations across the state with $258,000 in grants to increase access to healthcare and education, including America’s ToothFairy, Bond County Health Department, and Chicago Family Health Center. 
  • Fostering health equity. The Foundation awarded $100,000 in Diversity Admissions Scholarships to five Midwestern University dental students from underrepresented minority groups and donated $38,750 through the Hispanic Dental Association Foundation to support six students dedicated to improving oral health in the Hispanic community. Additionally, the Foundation sponsored University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry’s Inclusive Care Clinic to ensure Illinoisans with disabilities and special care needs have access to high-quality care.

  • Investing in Illinois’ youth. The Foundation’s Land of Smiles and H2O on the Go annual programs advance oral health education. In 2023, Land of Smiles, an interactive educational program, reached 49,000 students across 231 Illinois elementary schools, teaching essential oral hygiene practices to children in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Each student takes home a free oral health kit, and the program significantly improved awareness of brushing and flossing practices. Through the H2O On the Go program, in partnership with the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, 71 schools received new water bottle filling stations, benefitting more than 30,000 students. 

  • Supporting the community. Last year, 55 team members utilized our “Smile It Forward” Volunteer Time Off Policy, leading to 299 volunteer hours serving local initiatives, like Adopt-A-Highway, Loaves & Fish, and Ready Set Ride. The Foundation also sponsored the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE walk, a staple fundraiser of the American Lung Association aimed at ending lung cancer. 

The full report is available online: 2023 Delta Dental of Illinois CSR SMILE Report.


About Delta Dental of Illinois and 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 6,500 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 $30 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information, visit