Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awards $750,000 grant to fund interdisciplinary oral health care trial
Oral health care study aims to prevent non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia
(Naperville, IL) – March 2, 2022 – The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation has awarded a $750,000 grant to fund a two-year, interdisciplinary oral health care trial in partnership with two Illinois hospitals and a neighboring university. The participating partners include the University of Illinois School of Nursing and Hospital, Northwest Community Hospital and the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. The oral health study is aimed at preventing non-ventilator hospital-acquired pneumonia (NVHAP), which is the most deadly and costly of all hospital-acquired infections.1
“Oral health is critical to overall health, and oral hygiene protocols are a key factor in reducing NVHAP,” said Lora Vitek, executive director, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “We work to improve the health and well-being of Illinoisans, and this grant will provide data to help Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and our hospital partners do just that.”
Research shows that in the first 48 hours after patients are hospitalized, germs can move quickly from the mouth into the lungs, resulting in pneumonia. Nurse innovator Karen Giuliano and research partner Dian Baker are spearheading the NVHAP research trial to further investigate the risk factors and how to mitigate them through oral care intervention.
While quality improvement initiatives at hospitals over the last 10 years have focused on successfully reducing the number of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), there are no regulations requiring hospitals to address NVHAP. As a result, patients — especially those who are critically ill, but remain non-ventilated — are at significant risk of developing the deadly infection.
By contributing to this oral health care trial, the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation hopes to both improve the oral and overall health of Illinoisans and contribute to medical innovations to increase the quality of hospital care. At the end of the study, the data will reveal the effectiveness of oral hygiene for pneumonia prevention among hospitalized patients. And as a result, will hopefully lead to hospital implementation of standardized oral care intervention for at-risk patients.
Learn more about the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation at deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.
About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 and is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois, with a specific focus on children. 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.