Delta Dental Foundation Donates Nearly $150,000 to Organizations that Improve the Oral Health of Illinois Children

Posted on November 12, 2015 in In the Community

Lifestyle_Young Girl Outside_African AmericanAs part of its commitment to improve children's oral health in Illinois, the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, awarded $149,165 to 16 organizations through its Community Grants Program. These organizations were selected as a result of their dedication and commitment to help improve access to oral health care and/or education for Illinois children.

“A staggering amount of children in Illinois suffer from preventable dental disease, as well as face significant barriers to access the oral health care they need,” said Lora Vitek, director of philanthropy and community relations for the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation developed its Community Grants Program as a way to help combat tooth decay and improve access to care. We are proud to support each of these 16 organizations as they help us further our mission of improving oral health in Illinois by providing essential oral health services to children across the state.”

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

Asian Human Services Family Health Center Inc., Chicago: $10,000
The grant will allow the Asian Human Services Family Health Center Inc. to add a fourth operatory room to its dental clinic. This expansion will help ensure that an additional 100 children will receive high quality dental care and oral health education every month.

Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola: $10,000
In partnership with the Wellness on Wheels bus, the Douglas County Health Department Dental Clinic will use the grant to provide oral health awareness and education to the Amish population within Coles, Douglas and Moultrie counties. Children from nine different parochial schools between the ages of 5 and 18 will receive exams, cleanings and sealants through the bus, and any children needing restorative services will be seen at the on-site dental clinic.

Erie Family Health Center, Chicago: $10,000
To encourage patient retention, the Erie Family Health Center aims to focus their efforts on integrating medical and dental appointments at the same time. The grant will help support this effort and ultimately provide oral health care to at-risk families who would not otherwise have access to care.

Giant Steps, Lisle: $5,000
Giant Steps will use the grant to expand its dental training program that focuses on making dental visits a more positive experience for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in DuPage, Kane, McHenry and South Suburban Cook counties. In addition, the grant will enable Giant Steps to provide every dentist involved in the training with dental education materials to promote the training in their dental offices.

Hancock County Health Department, Carthage: $6,548
The Hancock County Health Department's dental clinic will use the grant to purchase dental tools and equipment to furnish two new examination rooms. The new equipment will help provide urgent dental treatment to an estimated 1,200 children in 2016.

The Hope Institute for Children and Family Services, Springfield: $7,617
The Hope Institute for Children and Families will soon implement sedation dentistry services for its patients, specifically children with special needs in the Noll Dental Clinic (NDC). This grant will help Hope Institute purchase the equipment and supplies necessary to run the program, allowing an additional 1,000 children to benefit from nitrous oxide sedation during dental procedures – something that is key in treating some patients with special needs.

Howard Area Community Center, Chicago: $10,000
The grant will support Howard Area Community Center's Mobile Dental Clinic as they deliver oral health education and care for children living below the federal poverty level. Children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years will have on-site dental screenings, and parents will receive education on how to help their children maintain good oral health.

Illinois Central College, Peoria: $10,000
Illinois Central College will use the grant to purchase a PAN DXTTR, a panoramic dental x-ray training unit.  This training unit includes a special manikin that will help students and clinical staff become proficient at obtaining panoramic X-rays of the jaw before they treat patients.

Illinois State Dental Society Foundation, Springfield: $10,000
Illinois State Dental Society Foundation will use the grant to help support the Illinois Mission of Mercy, a two-day dental clinic that provides free dental care to Illinois residents. The event will be held in July 2016 in Collinsville with a goal to provide care to about 400 Illinois children.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago: $10,000
The grant will help fund the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago's oral health program for low-income pediatric patients. The program provides preventive and restorative care, oral surgery and orthodontic services, and will serve over 5,300 children in 2016.

The Milestone Dental Clinic, Rockford: $10,000
The Milestone Dental Clinic is a stand-alone clinic serving only developmentally disabled children and adults from 34 counties in Illinois. Funding will help Milestone provide individualized care to children seen at the clinic.

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center – Wellness Services, Peoria: $10,000
The grant will help support Saint Francis Medical Center's newest endeavor, the Order of Saint Francis (OSF) Mobile Dental Project. This mobile dental clinic will provide dental exams, cleanings and education to an estimated 700 children over the next year in Peoria.

Pike County Health Department, Pittsfield: $10,000
The Pike County Health Department will use the grant to help fund salary and dental supply costs for its dental clinic. The clinic currently serves more than 1,500 at-risk children from 14 counties, and the grant will allow the clinic to see an additional 100 patients every month.

Promise Healthcare, Champaign: $10,000
Promise Healthcare will use the grant to help fund a dental hygienist for the Frances Nelson Health Center well-child and prenatal clinics. The dental hygienist will provide oral health education and introduce patients to the on-site dental center. The well-child and prenatal clinics expect to serve over 500 children and 250 pregnant women.

Riverbend Head Start and Family Services, Inc., Alton: $10,000
The Riverbend Head Start and Family Services provide dental screenings, dental care and oral health education to pregnant women and children, from birth to age 5, with the Oral Health Education and Access Project. More than 850 low-income children, pregnant women and families will have access to oral health services in Madison County.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Charleston: $10,000
The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center serves low-income children between the ages of 10 months and 18 years who have no access to dental insurance. The center provides a dental home and access to preventive and restorative dental care. The grant will help increase the amount of children served with its restorative dental care services by equipping its on-site clinic with two operatories.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation began its Community Grants Program in 2012. The next application cycle for community grants will start in the fall of 2016. 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.

For more information about the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation's Community Grants Program or to support the Foundation, please visit