Health Equity Grant Recipients

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation awarded $4 million to 19 Illinois organizations through the new COVID-19 Utilization: Decreasing Oral Health Disparities Health Equity Grant Program to assist organizations working to improve the oral and overall health of children impacted by poverty and COVID-19. Each foundation contributed $2 million for this initiative. Grants of up to $200,000 were awarded for use within two years. Recipients listed below.

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation recipients:

By The Hand Club For Kids, Chicago

By The Hand Club For Kids provides holistic services to children who live in under-resourced communities in Chicago and have historically experienced oral health disparities. By The Hand Club will use its grant funding for dental equipment to continue to provide services and expand into the North Austin neighborhood. It is their goal to provide comprehensive dental care to a total of 1,940 Chicago children by the end of 2024.

Central Counties Health Centers, Inc., Springfield

Central Counties Health Centers, Inc. (CCHC) provides primary, oral and behavioral health care to patients who are uninsured or underinsured. The grant will be used to hire an additional dentist who will be able to provide care to the children seen by CCHC.

Chestnut Health Systems, Bloomington

Chestnut Health Systems will use its grant to help open an oral health clinic for children and adults in McLean County. Funds will be used to hire a dental director and dental assistant to start the dental program.

Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago

Howard Brown Health Center will use grant funding to support the agency’s pediatric dental program, which provides low and no-cost dental services to children in the Englewood neighborhood and surrounding communities.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago

The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago (IWS) provides a dental home to pediatric patients who are enrolled in Medicaid, have special needs or face barriers to receiving dental care. IWS helps ensure that all children have access to equitable and quality oral health care, education, prevention and treatment. Grant funding will allow IWS to hire a licensed clinical social worker to help integrate therapeutic services within the dental home as part of an organization-wide effort to improve patient health outcomes.

Lake County Health Department and Community Center, Waukegan  

The Lake County Health Department and Community Center will use its grant to provide oral health education and connect pediatric patients to dental services in under-resourced communities in Lake County. The Health Department plans to use trained community health workers and case managers supervised by a dental hygienist to ensure children receive the dental care they need.

Mile Square Health Center, Chicago

Mile Square Health Center will use grant funding to create a dental assistant certification program that will help workforce development for the community, train the next generation of auxiliary staff in the Federally Qualified Health Center model and encourage future employment opportunities in the public health arena. The funding will support accreditation for the new program, hiring instructors for the program and supplies and equipment for students to use in the clinic.

Near North Health Service Corporation, Chicago

Near North Health Service Corporation will use grant funding to expand its oral health outreach program to address the increased need for children’s oral health services, which was exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant funding will be used to hire a dental hygienist who will work with children ages age 6 and under who are enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start programs as well as children who receive health care through their Pop-Up Clinic program.

St. Bernard Hospital, Chicago

St. Bernard Hospital’s dental clinic serves the children of the Englewood neighborhood and surrounding communities, where tooth decay is prevalent and there is a need for dental education. The clinic will use its funds to treat patients for existing dental disease and encourage children and their caregivers to maintain good oral health practices.

YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago's Children's Oral Health Initiative addresses the impact of COVID-19 has had on access to primary oral health care.  This program integrates Head Start and Early Head Start services with pediatric dental resources, activities and curriculum. In partnership with Dr. Sharon Perlman and its vast network of childcare providers in DuPage, Kane, Cook and Grundy Counties, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago will use the grant for oral health education and activities to help caregivers understand the importance of pediatric dental care and good oral health habits. YWCA will also create a dental map that connects families to available oral health providers and assists them with finding a dental home.

Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation recipients:

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, Champaign

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) will use its grant to increase access to its Children & Teens Dental Clinic and school-based sealant program for communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and face other barriers to care. CUPHD will target outreach to eligible participants, including refugee, immigrant and migrant communities (RIM).  The grant will also be used to implement a Public Health Dental Hygienist Program, which will help connect patients to a dental home.

Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Chicago

Community Health Partnership of Illinois (CHP) will use grant funding for a program that works to identify children in the Kankakee service area who did not receive oral health services in 2020 or have never received oral health services and do not have a dental home. CHP will hire community health workers to help ensure children in the community receive dental care and establish a dental home.

Erie Family Health Foundation, Chicago

Erie Family Health Foundation plans to improve the oral health of thousands of children from Chicago’s Humboldt Park area. The grant will support two additional dental hygienists at the Erie Humboldt Park Health Center, allowing them to significantly increase the number of children served.

Heartland Alliance Health – Oral Health Forum, Chicago

Heartland Alliance Health’s Oral Health Forum (OHF) project, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Chicago Public Schools (CPS), provides dental care to children in schools with high rates of oral health disease in medically under-resourced communities, which have also been greatly impacted by COVID-19. OHF will use its grant to provide oral health screenings and follow-up treatment to CPS students as part of the CDPH School-Based Oral Health program.

Mercer County Health Department, Aledo

The Mercer County Mobile Dental Program (MCHD) will use grant funding to expand its preventive dental health program by implementing a mobile dental system to serve rural, high-risk youth in the classroom and at a new site at the Health Department. Through strong collaboration with Eagle View Community Health Systems in neighboring Henderson County, the program will  provide consistent access to dental providers, including dentists and hygienists, to meet growing demands for dental care.

Mobile Care Foundation, Chicago

Mobile Care Foundation will use its grant to increase available appointments for children and implement a medical record database that can send electronic referrals to external partners.

Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation, Carterville

Shawnee Health Service (SHS) will use grant funding to start a Community Dental Health Worker (CDHW) program to address different factors that affect access to care within the community, including financial barriers, geography, language and cultural barriers, and availability of transportation. The CDHWs will focus on case management, navigation, oral health education and promotion, and linking children to dental care.

University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry, Chicago

University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry, in partnership with Oral Health Forum (OHF), provides community-based oral disease management and prevention services. The grant will support be used to help reduce oral health disparities in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods and increase access to oral health care for children and families in these communities.

Well Child Center, Elgin

Well Child Center (WCC) is partnering with VNA Health to integrate oral health care with mental and behavioral health services at its Pediatric Dental Clinic. The grant will also be used to increase oral health care services provided at WCC’s Pediatric Dental Clinic through new referral partnerships with other nonprofits who serve under-resourced children in Kane County.