Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awards nearly $100,000 to 12 Illinois organizations

Posted on November 11, 2014 in In the Community

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awarded $99,884 in community grants to 12 Illinois organizations to help improve the oral health of children within the state.
“Too many children in Illinois suffer from dental disease that could have been prevented with proper oral health care and education,” said Lora Vitek, director of philanthropy and community relations for the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “Poor oral health not only can affect overall health, but also a child's self-esteem, speech and ability to focus and learn. We are proud to support 12 organizations that further education and provide much needed oral health services to children across Illinois.”

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

Crusader Community Health, Rockford: $10,000

Crusader Community Health is opening a school-based health center on the campus of Auburn High School this fall. The grant will support a program that addresses adolescent oral health with students creating oral health video messages aimed at their peers.

Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola: $10,000

The grant will support a partnership between the Douglas County Health Department Dental Clinic and the Wellness on Wheels van, which will make visits to Amish and Mennonite schools in Douglas and Moultrie Counties. Children in these counties between the ages of 5 and 15 will receive education, exams, cleanings and referrals.

Giant Steps, Lisle: $4,000

Because a dental appointment can be an extremely frightening experience for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), many do not go to a dentist regularly and as a result, have poor oral health. Giant Steps will use the grant to host a training workshop for dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants on making a dental visit a positive experience for people with ASD. The goal of the workshop is to increase the number of regular dental visits for individuals with ASD.

Lake County Health Department and Community Health, Waukegan: $9,985

Lake County Health Department and Community Health will use the grant to pilot an oral health outreach and education program at 10 preventive oral health outreach clinics that collectively will serve 2,000 children who participate in Head Start in Waukegan. The children will receive dental screenings, cavity risk assessments and fluoride varnish applications, and their families will receive oral health education on the importance of having a dental home.

Lake Land College, Mattoon: $10,000

Students at Lake Land College Dental Hygiene Clinic conduct oral exams, cleanings, X-rays and fluoride treatments under the supervision of instructors. The grant will provide funding for a PAN DXTTR, a tool for teaching extraoral radiographic imaging, which will be used to train dental hygiene students and clinical and technical staff.

Logan County Department of Public Health, Lincoln: $2,500

The Logan County Department of Public Health will use the grant to incorporate oral health education during Women, Infants and Children (WIC) appointments. Part of the education includes follow-up to make sure women and children are continuing their biannual dental exams.

Midwestern University, Downers Grove: $9,599

Midwestern University will collaborate with DuPage County and use the grant to augment an existing county program where fourth-year dental students educate and treat preschool and elementary children from lower socioeconomic families in the county. The grant will help fund portable dental equipment, oral health instruction and supplies, without which the program could not operate.

Pike County Health Department, Pittsfield: $7,800 

Pike County Health Department will use the grant to add a dentist delivery unit to an operatory, enabling the department to have four fully functional operatories and be better equipped to treat more than 1,500 children.

Promise Healthcare, Champaign: $10,000

As part of Promise Healthcare's SmileHealthy Well Child Hygiene Project, the grant will support a dental hygienist for the Frances Nelson Health Center Well-Child and Prenatal Clinics, who will provide oral health education and introduce the patients to an on-site dental center. Nearly 500 children and 250 pregnant women are expected to be served through these clinics.

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services, Alton: $10,000

Riverbend Head Start & Family Services will use the grant to help provide oral health care through its Oral Health Education and Access project, which provides dental screenings, preventive care, cavity treatment and oral health education to more than 945 low-income expectant parents and children from birth to age 5 in Madison County.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation's community granting efforts started in 2008. The next community grants application cycle will be in the fall of 2015. 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 go to