Obtaining needed dental services could soon become a little easier for some low-income individuals, thanks to nearly $240,000 in grants awarded to eight community organizations.
The organizations are receiving funds from "Community Collaborations to Increase Oral Health Care Access," a partnership between Volunteers in Health Care (VIH), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Association Foundation (ADAF). The awards will back projects to help expand the access of low-income and underserved children and their families
to oral health care services. The interest in this joint VIH/ADA grant program arose from the ADA's inaugural Give Kids A Smile National Dental Access Day held last February and from VIH's longstanding commitment to increasing oral health access.
Organizations receiving grants are the Quad Cities Oral Health
Partners, Davenport, Iowa; Northern Virginia Regional Commission, Annandale, Va.; Capital Area Health Alliance, Lansing, Mich.; United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries, Inc., Garden City, Kan.; Appolonia Foundation, Salinas, Calif.; Northern Nevada Dental Health Program, Reno, Nev.; Ohio Dental Association, Columbus, Ohio; and Whitney M. Young, Jr., Health Center, Albany, N.Y.
Projects include working with community partners to provide a range of planning, dental treatment and prevention, and oral health education services.
In addition to the funding, Sullivan-Schein Dental has agreed to donate some of the products and supplies needed by the grantees for their programs, with coordination by the ADA.
"We are proud to partner with Volunteers in Health Care in this access initiative," said T. Howard Jones, D.M.D., ADA president. "This partnership is a welcome, caring response to our initial Give Kids A Smile/National's Children's Access Day, which provided free dental services and products to an estimated one million disadvantaged children and highlighted the need for
improved access to care to the nation's policy makers."
"VIH has been involved in many efforts to increase access to oral health care for vulnerable populations," said H. Denman Scott, M.D., director of Volunteers in Health Care. "We, therefore, took great interest in the Give Kids A Smile Day activities around the country. Our collaborative grant with the ADA and ADA Foundation is designed to encourage and support expanded partnerships for care and enable communities to develop access year round."
The ADA's next Give Kids A Smile/National Children's Access Day is set for February 6, 2004.