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Glendale-based Delta Dental of Arizona, through its foundation, selected 29 nonprofits across the state as recipients of grants and dental supplies to improve the oral health of Arizonans.

These funds, totaling $752,423, were awarded to support projects and services promoting good oral health practices and increasing access to dental care among underserved children, pregnant women and seniors throughout 2022.

“While strides have been made to improve overall oral health in Arizona, the fact remains that not all Arizonans have equal access to dental care,” said Michael Jones, president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Arizona and chair of the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation.

“Through these grants, a significant investment in programs across our state, Delta Dental is working to increase access to oral health care and education.”

Grants were awarded through two funding categories: Community Grants and IMPACT Grants.

Community grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000, as well as dental supplies as needed, were presented to 26 Arizona nonprofits, including:

• A New Leaf

• Arizona Dental Foundation

• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

• Children’s Museum of Phoenix

• Coconino County Cooperative Extension

• Dental Lifeline Network

• Desert Senita Dental Center

• Dignity Health Foundation –

East Valley

• Flagstaff Medical Center Children’s Health Center

• Gila County Health & Emergency Management

• Great Arizona Puppet Theater

• Live and Learn Program

• Marana Healthcare

• Mountain Park Health Center

• National Kidney Foundation of Arizona

• North Country Healthcare

• Northern Arizona Council of Gov. Head Start Program

• Phoenix Rescue Mission

• River Cities United Way

• Senior Citizens of Patagonia

• Southwest Human Development

• Sun Life Family Health Center

• Sunset Community Health Center

• United Community Health Center

• Valleywise Health Foundation

• Verde Valley Medical Center

In 2020 Delta Dental launched its IMPACT Grant program awarding organizations two-year grants totaling $100,000 each, with $50,000 awarded each year. Nonprofits invited to apply for these grants provide oral health services and education to more than 650 children, pregnant women or seniors and have a proven record of fiscal and reporting responsibility.

The 2022-23 IMPACT recipients are:

Esperança’s Arizona Oral Health Education Program, which educates children in Title I schools and various day care centers across the Valley about the importance of proper daily hygiene practices, proper brushing/flossing techniques and the need for routine dental visits. Esperança provides each participant with a Smile Bag that contains an age-appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, as well as referrals to dental providers who offer dental care at reduced/no cost.

Tooth BUDDS, which is a group of affiliated dental practice hygienists who serve the children of Graham and Greenlee counties by providing dental screenings, dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnish and Silver Diamine Fluoride applications at no cost at the school location.

El Rio Health Center’s Pediatric Dental Integration Program expands direct dental screening, varnish and oral health education during children’s medical well visits by embedding dental hygiene teams in five El Rio Health clinic locations throughout Tucson.

“In addition to our grants program, we build strategic partnerships with Arizona organizations that share our desire to improve lives and promote optimal oral health,” Jones said.

“Delta Dental partners with ATSU Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, Banner University Medical Center, Pacific Dental Services Foundation Dentists for Special Needs, St. Vincent de Paul, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Northern Arizona University College of Dental Hygiene, to name a few, to provide underserved communities with oral health education, oral disease prevention and access to dental care, because we believe everyone deserves healthy a smile.”

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