COSTA MESA, California--Five grant recipients of the GIVE KIDS A SMILE Program Growth Fund were honored April 13, 2010, at the Third American Dental Association Foundation GKAS Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. For the third year in a row, CareCredit’s annual $100,000 donation to the Fund has enabled five programs to expand services and access to care for children in underserved communities. The Hispanic Dental Association, National Dental Association, and Oral Health America were selected to receive 2010 grants to continue to expand the availability of dental care to underserved children. The Hispanic Dental Association is using the funding for outreach programs that identify disadvantaged children and provide preventive services in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Boston. The National Dental Association is enhancing the Deamonte Driver Dental Project, which provides oral health education through local health fairs and connects vulnerable children with a network of volunteer dentists. Oral Health America’s grant will support local Smiles Across America programs in California, Minnesota, and Nevada, and expand children’s access to dental care through local schools. Additionally, two $15,000 Program Champion grants were awarded to established national oral health programs. The first, America’s Dentists Care Foundation (Missions of Mercy), has helped more than 100,000 patients, and has provided more than $50 million in free dental services since its inception in 2000. The second, TeamSmile, uses the popularity and power of professional and collegiate sports partnerships to bring patients in need together with dental professionals and volunteers.“In every community across the country, there are children who have limited or no access to dental care,” said Cindy Hearn, GKAS advisory board member and senior vice president of marketing at CareCredit.."These children have oral infections that may be impacting their ability to sleep, eat, and learn. The 2010 grant recipients are established programs that have been proven to positively affect access to care of children in need. CareCredit is pleased to be able to help all the grant recipients expand access to care to underserved children by continuing our role as Founding Donor of the GIVE KIDS A SMILE Program Growth Fund.”For more information on CareCredit, call (800) 300-3046, ext. 4519 or visit www.carecredit.com. Information on the GIVE KIDS A SMILE program can be found at www.givekidsasmile.ada.org.To read more about GKAS, go to www.dentistryiq.com/index/display/article-display/0078460550/articles/dentisryiq/industry/2010/05/deamonte-driver_unveils.html.To comment on this subject, go to community.pennwelldentalgroup.com/.