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Oral Health America expands in Southern California thanks to Annenberg Foundation Grant

May 22, 2015
Funding allows expansion of resources for Smiles Across America partners

Funding allows expansion of resources for Smiles Across America partners

Oral Health America (OHA) is expanding its work to provide oral healthcare and education to children in Southern California thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation. The grant will facilitate a Smiles Across America (SAA) California Learning Lab to help partners in Southern California improve access to care, increase the number of children they reach, and increase knowledge in the field.

With the grant funding, OHA will establish a network of community-based organizations to share promising practices and lessons through a “Share and Learn” symposium, meetings, and educational webinars. The network includes health agencies, the state public health association, state dental and hygienist societies, health care professional groups, safety net clinics, advocacy groups, local community groups, universities, foundations, and faith-based organizations. In addition, OHA will utilize a web-based project management system where partners can continue to collaborate and share ideas with one another.

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“We greatly appreciate this opportunity to increase our presence in Southern California thanks to the generosity of the Annenberg Foundation,” said OHA president and CEO Beth Truett. “Our SAA partners have always valued being able to network and learn from each other, and this supportive funding will allow our SAA partners in Southern California to connect in new and innovative ways, benefiting thousands of children in need of oral healthcare and education.”

SAA California Learning Lab grants will also support the expansion of partner organizations in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties. Grantees will be selected based on their ability to develop and implement innovative programs, expand capacity, and establish sustainable models.

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Through SAA, OHA provides its program partners with grant funding, technical assistance in the areas of communications and coalition building, and product donations to allow them to reach more underserved and uninsured children and address barriers to care. The program reached more than 460,000 children and distributed more than 500,000 units of donated dental product during the 2014-2015 school year.

To learn more about OHA and SAA, please visit