The American Dental Association (ADA) has restructured and merged all of its charitable activities into a single new entity, the ADA Foundation, effective January 1, 2003, the ADA announced today.
The newly structured ADA Foundation consists of the former ADA Health Foundation that was established in 1964 and served as the ADA's primary charitable arm; the ADA Relief Fund; The ADA Endowment and Assistance Fund, Inc.; and The ADA Emergency Fund, Inc.
The association's House of Delegates approved the merger at its annual session in October 2002. "This merger will enhance the ADA's charitable activities, enabling it to carry out the missions of the four predecessor organizations in a more coordinated, efficient and effective manner," said Dr. Anthony Volpe, president of the foundation's board of directors.
"At the same time, the new foundation will allow us to better pursue other avenues that will help us expand and build upon our strengths," added Dr. Volpe.
Under the new, streamlined setup, the ADA Foundation assumes the charitable efforts of its predecessor organizations, including emergency dental care in areas affected by disasters, education, dental research, assistance to dental professionals, access and oral health awareness programs.
"This merger and restructuring gives the ADA's charitable efforts a higher profile and allows contributors to easily earmark their funds for distribution to a designated activity," said T. Howard Jones, D.M.D., ADA president.
Over the past eight years, ADA charitable distributions have totaled more than $5.2 million, with approximately $2.8 million going directly to dental research.
"We will continue to offer scholarships for aspiring dentists, dental
assistants, dental hygienists and dental laboratory assistants, and minority scholarships as well," Dr. Jones said. "We also are enhancing our educational outreach through the development of a national endowment for dental education."