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Foundation News Part 2

By Jill Hamilton on September 13, 2012 in Giving Back


Last month we featured an interview with Suzanne Heckenlaible, the Executive Director of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. The interview continues below. Click here if you haven't read the 1st part of the interview.

What are some of the most recent initiatives the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has participated in?

With the new direction of the Foundation, two recent projects that contribute to us reaching our goal to eliminate cavities in children are the Dentist by 1 campaign and toothbrush donation to the I-Smile program and Iowa Head Start Association.

The Foundation launched the Dentist By 1 public service campaign in May to educate parents and grandparents about the importance of the first dental visit.  The campaign included TV and newspaper interviews; bus, TV, and radio ads; and a special grant program in Black Hawk County.  The grant program will be awarding a total of $100,000 to agencies in Black Hawk County for projects focused on educating parents about the importance of the age 1 visit and eliminating access barriers.   

Another recent project was donating more than 110,000 toothbrushes to the Iowa Department of Public Health I-Smile Program and to the Iowa Head Start Association.  The I-Smile Dental Home Initiative is a program that helps Iowa’s children connect with dental services and Iowa Head Start is a locally operated, federally funded program that provides a comprehensive child development programs for 3-to 5-year-old children from low-income families in 98 of Iowa's 99 counties.

How does the Foundation support the community?

There are several programs that the Foundation funds that support communities throughout Iowa from toothbrushes for health fairs to large grants for dental equipment. 

In 2011, the Foundation provided more than 75,000 oral health kits to daycares, schools, clinics and other Iowa non-profits to help improve the oral health of Iowans. 

Each year the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation awards mini-grants for oral health projects requesting less than $10,000. Grant applications are reviewed twice a year in May and October and are intended to support one-time oral health projects. These mini-grants can be used to fund workshops or conferences, short-term projects, stimulate long-term oral health projects, or combined with funds from other sources.

In addition, the Foundation partners with community organizations and programs that share our vision of improving the oral health of Iowans. Large grants are defined as over $50,000 and generally funded for a single year only, but may be eligible for multi-year support.

A fairly new program is the Community Water Fluoridation which grants up to $6,000 to Iowa communities demonstrating the greatest need for fluoridation of public water supplies.

We would like to thank Suzanne Heckenlaible for taking the time out of her busy day to speak with us about the Foundation. If you have any questions for Suzanne, please leave them in the comments below. Stay tuned for more Foundation news!