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Foundations Invest More than $1 Million to Integrate Oral Health and Medical Services for Children

Posted on November 20, 2019 in Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation


Smiling kids in a row outsideDelta Dental of Illinois Foundation, in collaboration with The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF), will provide a total of $1.1 million to 12 health clinics in Illinois to support the integration of both medical and dental care for children. This funding will increase access to integrated health services for children in a clinical setting.  Integration of oral health into primary care is recognized as key to expanding access to quality oral health care for these children.

Oral health is critical to overall health.  Research continues to show evidence of the connection between periodontal (gum) disease and medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and pregnancy complications that can impact a child’s early oral health.  Dental and medical professionals understand the importance of working together to manage the care of their mutual patients and help their patients achieve better overall health.

“The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is dedicated to improving the overall health and well-being of Illinois residents, especially children,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “Through our programs and grant funding opportunities, we aim to increase access to quality health care and reduce dental disease. Integrating dental care into a child’s primary care at an early age can help establish the foundation for a lifetime of good oral and overall health.”

“Far too many children in Illinois don’t receive the dental care they need,” said Heather Alderman, president of the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. “Untreated tooth decay can affect children’s diet, sleep and ability to learn. This situation is unconscionable when you consider how treatable and preventable these diseases are.”

The 12 Illinois health clinics receiving grants include:

Advocate Charitable Foundation, Downers Grove
Aunt Martha's Youth Service Center, Midlothian
Community Health Improvement Center, Decatur
Pillars Community Health (Community Nurse Health Association), La Grange
Erie Family Health Foundation Inc., Chicago
Heartland International Health Center, Chicago
Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago
Lawndale Christian Health Center, Chicago
Macoupin County Public Health Department, Gillespie
Promise Healthcare, Champaign
Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation, Carbondale
SIHF Healthcare, Sauget