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Wisdom Tooth Award

The $100,000 annual award recognizes one Illinois nonprofit organization that has made a significant impact on improving the oral health of Illinois children.  Eligible organizations must have a proven program that provides oral health education and/or access to oral health resources and care. The recipient of the Wisdom Tooth Award has up to two years to use the grant money.  The Wisdom Tooth Award recipient is announced during the summer.

Illinois public charities that are classified as exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and public or governmental entities, such as public schools or health departments, are eligible and encouraged to apply. Read the Philosophy and Guidelines for the Wisdom Tooth Award.

2018 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: Macoupin County Public Health Department

More than 1,300 Illinois children in Macoupin County and the surrounding area go without much needed dental care each year. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, is granting its sixth annual $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award to the Macoupin County Public Health Department (MCPHD), so they can meet this serious oral health need by providing dental services and preventive education to these children. 

Past Recipients of the Wisdom Tooth Award

2017 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: UIC College of Dentistry

UIC Dental School

Left to right: Marcio A. da Fonseca, DDS, MS, Chicago Dental Society Associate Professor and Head, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry University of Illinois at Chicago; Terri Bon; Clark Stafford, DDS, PhD, Dean, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago; Bernie Glossy, president and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Dental of Illinois; Dr. Frank Maggio, Delta Dental of Illinois Board member; Mark J. Valentino, Associate Dean for Advancement, UIC College of Dentistry; Stacey Bonn, Chief Operating Officer of Delta Dental of Illinois; and Dr. Nancy Cozzi, Delta Dental of Illinois Board member

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation granted its fifth annual $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award to UIC College of Dentistry for general anesthesia equipment that will help these children receive the critical oral health care they need sooner.

2016 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: Crusader Community Health

Crusader Community Health

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation presents the 2016 Wisdom Tooth Award to Crusader Community Health. Left to Right: Lora Vitek, director of philanthropy and community relations for the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation; Craig C. Grannon, board member for Delta Dental of Illinois; Kathy Olson, dental director of Crusader Community Health; Gordon Eggers, Jr., president and CEO of Crusader Community Health; Sean Norton, assistant principal at Auburn High School; Stacey Bonn, chief operating offi cer at Delta Dental of Illinois and Scott Viel, health services specialist for Rockford Public Schools.

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation granted its fourth annual $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award to Crusader Community Health to help expand dental services for children in the Rock River Valley area. This grant will impact access to dental care for more than 3,000 school children at the Crusader School Based Health Center at the Auburn High School (AHS) campus and throughout Rockford, particularly those from the highest need areas on the west side of Rockford.

2015 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: Central Counties Health Centers, Inc.

Central Counties Health Centers

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation granted its third annual $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award to Central Counties Health Centers, Inc. (CCHC) to help improve the oral health of at-risk children in central Illinois.  Located in Springfield, Ill., CCHC provides quality, affordable health and oral health care to Springfield residents and those in surrounding counties who lack health or dental insurance or do not have adequate coverage. CCHC used the Wisdom Tooth Award to help fund its “Check Up Pick Up” Dental Transportation Program and expand its dental services to provide comprehensive care to more children. The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation recognized the Central Counties Health Centers at a reception in Springfield on September 24, 2015.

2014 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: St. Bernard Hospital Dental Center

St. Bernard

The recipient of the 2014 Wisdom Tooth Award was St. Bernard Hospital Dental Center. Located in Chicago, the St. Bernard Hospital Dental Center provides comprehensive oral health care to children living in impoverished, underserved communities on the South Side of Chicago and throughout Illinois. The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation's $100,000 award allowed the Dental Center to purchase essential dental supplies, as well as add another dentist to focus on caring for children with special needs.

2013 Wisdom Tooth Award Recipient: Promise Healthcare

Promise Healthcare

In 2013, Promise Healthcare received the Wisdom Tooth Award from Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation to help fund its SmileHealthy program over a two year period from 2014 to 2015. The Wisdom Tooth Award helped provide the funds needed to open its dental clinic for an additional day each week and to expand its mobile clinic services to three days per week. The award has also helped educate families about the importance of good oral health at a young age.