Recently the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) has announced that it will provide $3.5 million in funding over three years to 31 Colorado nonprofits to support projects that advance oral health equity for Coloradans of all ages. This includes grant funding to two Trinidad-based nonprofits.
The first, Salud Family Health Centers will receive $150,000 to open a new, on-site dental clinic, purchase dental equipment and conduct outreach to community members and children via surrounding schools.
The second, South Central Council of Governments will receive $30,000 to establish relationships with local dentists to coordinate care and provide transportation to dental appointments for patients living in Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
Over the past two years, DDCOF has awarded $6.9 million in oral health-focused grants to Colorado communities.
“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 percent increase in applications during our second open grant making cycle, there is a clear need for on-going, dedicated oral health funding in the state.”
According to DDCOF, 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 grantees for this grant cycle have identified solutions that address oral health disparities aligned with the DDCOF’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,” said 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.”