Local groups get dental funding | PostIndependent.com

Local groups get dental funding

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation will provide $3.5 million in funding over three years to 31 Colorado nonprofit organizations to support projects that create accessible oral health care across the lifespan and advance oral health equity. Over the past two years, Delta has awarded $6.9 million in oral health-focused grants to Colorado communities.

Included in the Access to Care category are funding for Colorado Mountain College Foundation in Glenwood Springs to create a dental hygiene program for residents living in rural mountain communities; and Mountain Family Health Centers in Glenwood Springs to expand the organization’s dental program into school-based health centers and integrate electronic dental and health records.

“We believe oral health equity means everyone can have a healthy mouth regardless of life circumstances,” said Adeeb Khan, executive director of Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. “Partnering on community-driven solutions is essential to achieving our mission. With a 21% increase in applications during our second open grantmaking cycle, there is a clear need for on-going, dedicated oral health funding in the state.”

A variety of social determinants — including race and ethnicity, income, geography, age, housing and food insecurity — impact Coloradans’ oral health and their overall well-being. The second group of Delta open funding grantees have identified solutions that address oral health disparities aligned with the foundation’s focus areas: access to oral health care, prevention of tooth decay and strengthening the connection between oral health and overall health.

“Whether they live in a dental health professional shortage area or cannot afford care, too many Coloradans lack access to proper oral health care,” continued Khan. “Our open funding partners have identified dynamic solutions to oral health challenges. We’re honored to invest in their implementation and broaden our collaboration with communities to help more people live healthier lives.”

In addition to annual open grant-making, Delta’s portfolio features a variety of projects including the Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project, policy organizations such as the Colorado Children’s Campaign and the Center for Health Progress, and partnering with other foundations to fund Cavity Free at Three, a program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

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