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Delta Dental Awards Funding to 31 Colorado Nonprofits to Improve Oral Health

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) announced on January 9 that it will provide $3.5 million in funding over 3 years to 31 Colorado nonprofit organizations to support projects that create accessible oral health care and advance oral health equity.

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) announced on January 9 that it will provide $3.5 million in funding over 3 years to 31 Colorado nonprofit organizations to support projects that create accessible oral health care and advance oral health equity.

Over the past two years, DDCOF has awarded $6.9 million in oral health-focused grants to Colorado communities. The second group of DDCOF open funding grantees has identified solutions that address oral health disparities aligned with the DDCOF’s focus areas: access to oral health care, prevention of tooth decay and strengthening the connection between oral health and overall health.

The newly funded organizations and their projects include:

Access to Care

  • All American Families (Delta) – Connect the 5% lowest income children and families living in the county to oral health care and provide ongoing education.
  • Center for African American Health (Metro Denver) – Create and implement an oral health outreach, screening, referral and follow-up program for Denver’s African American community.
  • Center for Immigrants & Immigration Services (Aurora) – Support to provide education, screenings and restorative care to four African communities in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Dentistry.
  • Clinica Family Health (Metro Denver) – Ongoing support to grow the organization’s oral health program and connect up to 18,000 patients to needed care on an annual basis.
  • Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization (Metro Denver) – Develop and expand the organization’s Oral Health Equity Coalition to connect low-income Hispanic/Latino families to affordable oral health care.
  • Colorado Mountain College Foundation (Glenwood Springs) – Funding to create a dental hygiene program for residents living in rural mountain communities.
  • Dental Aid, Inc. (Metro Denver) – Expand access to care for the under-insured and uninsured, particularly children, pregnant women and older adults, who experience barriers to accessing dental care due to cost.
  • Dolores Health Association (Cortez) – Expand access to reach 1,250 dental patients at the organization’s new dental clinic and connect them to medical and behavioral health services.
  • Health District of Northern Larimer County (Fort Collins) – Increase access to specialty dental care for patients with severe intellectual or developmental disabilities.
  • Kids First Health Care (Metro Denver) – Increase enrollment in dental programs at school-based health centers located in Adams City, Brighton, and Thornton high schools.
  • Montezuma County Public Health Department (Cortez) – Purchase equipment to outfit a second dental operatory to double the size and reach of the current practice.
  • Mountain Family Health Centers (Glenwood Springs) – Expand the organization’s dental program into school-based health centers and integrate electronic dental and health records.
  • River Valley Family Health Center (Montrose) – Provide comprehensive oral health services at the Olathe clinic for uninsured, underinsured, low-income families and migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.
  • Project Worthmore (Metro Denver) – Support to hire a full-time dental outreach coordinator from the refugee community, a part-time biller and part-time pediatric dentist to treat young refugee patients.
  • Salud Family Health Centers (Trinidad) – Open a new dental clinic and provide outreach to community members and children via surrounding schools.
  • Servicos de La Raza (Statewide) – Expand the organization’s Ventanilla de Salud program to include oral health care by hiring a part-time dentist and bilingual hygienist. The organization will also report on barriers to care among immigrant Hispanic groups to inform health policy.
  • South Central Council of Governments (Trinidad) – Establish relationships with local dentists to coordinate care and provide transportation to dental appointments for patients living in Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
  • Southeast Colorado Hospital District and Long Term Care Center (Springfield) – Recruit a dentist to establish and staff a full-time dental program.
  • Sunrise Community Health (Greeley) – Launch integrated oral health services through the hiring of an expanded scope dental assistant and a dental hygienist.
  • Vail Valley Charitable Fund (Edwards) – Expand the Eagle Smiles dental program to provide dental homes for 100 uninsured children living in the Vail Valley.

Prevention of Tooth Decay

  • Family Star (Metro Denver) – Integrate oral health education, screening, and navigation to oral health services into Head Start, Early Head Start, and home-based visitation programs.
  • Kids in Need of Dentistry (Metro Denver & Colorado Springs) – Expand the number of preschools reached through KIND CARE Outreach program and reduce tooth decay in participating students by 20%
  • Mile High Early Learning (Metro Denver) – In partnership with Denver Health, provide dental screenings to children participating in Head Start and Early Head Start programs and travel vouchers for transportation to dental appointments.
  • Reach Out and Read Colorado (Statewide) – Support the purchase of oral health books and supplies for 500 children annually, living in 12 Colorado counties with limited or no dental services.
  • Rural Communities Resource Center (Yuma) – Hire a dental program coordinator to connect local families to dental care.
  • Special Olympics Colorado (Statewide) – Provide dental screenings to children and adults participating in Special Olympics activities. These screenings will also train dental students on working with patients who have intellectual disabilities.

Connections to Overall Health

  • Benefits in Action (Statewide) – Support to connect older adults and Medicaid patients to dental homes and conduct a study on the connection of oral health and access to nutritious food.
  • Dominican Home Health Agency (Metro Denver) – Expand access to oral health care among low-income senior patients participating in wellness clinics and in-home nursing care programs.
  • Hope West (Grand Junction) – Create and implement an oral health and hygiene program for seniors 65 years and older in the organization’s wellness clinic.
  • Summit Community Care Clinic (Frisco) – Support to pilot mobile dental services for low-income older adults living in five mountain counties.
  • Tri-County Health Department (Metro Denver) – Purchase of new dental equipment and chairs for the senior dental clinic and support to promote dental services to low-income seniors living in Arapahoe County.
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