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Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Awards $220,000 to Iowa nonprofits for Oral Health and Overall Health Projects

Posted on July 13, 2020 in Foundation

The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation has awarded $220,000 to 12 Iowa organizations to improve the oral health and overall health of Iowans. The grants are part of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation’s Ignite and Innovation grant programs that strengthen and transform the health and smiles of all Iowans. Both funds provide support to programs that align with the Foundation’s strategic areas of focus: education and advocacy, access and prevention, and policy and research. 

“As a health and wellness company, Delta Dental is committed to improving oral health and overall health across the state,” said Jeff Russell, president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “Our Foundation’s refreshed focus on overall health programs helps us support Iowa nonprofits that are looking at health and wellness in new ways through implementing infrastructure, training, and delivery systems that will have a tangible impact on the lives of Iowans.”

Ignite Grants award organizations up to $25,000 for projects that advance oral health or the integration of oral health with overall health. Organizations awarded Ignite grants by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation include:

  • Healthy Birth Day, Inc. (Des Moines) received $21,500 to support Saving Babies through Oral Health Education and Outreach project. This project aims to improve the overall health of moms and babies, starting with good oral hygiene during pregnancy by connecting their robust audience of expectant mothers to supported oral health education.
  • Hip-Hope Inc. (West Des Moines) received $12,500 to support Flossn' Matters. This project’s goal is to utilize arts and culture to raise awareness and promote best practices for healthy smiles through oral health education and overall health of vulnerable populations throughout Iowa.
  • His Hands Ministry (Cedar Rapids) received $25,000 grant to support Integrating Dental and Medical Care for Overall Health. The funds will be used for a new dental operatory at His Hands Free Clinic and support a Dental Care Coordinator focused on medical/dental integration services to improve overall health outcomes.
  • Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (West Des Moines) received $25,000 to support Advancing Community Health Worker Oral Health Knowledge and Capacity. The funds will be used to develop an on-demand, oral health training series, to increase the oral health knowledge of Community Health Workers from a range of organizations across Iowa.
  • The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics (Iowa City) received $10,000 grant to support The University of Iowa College of Dentistry’s 2020 Students’ Oral Health Projects. The funds support student planned outreach programs to promote healthy smiles for Iowans through educational and prevention initiatives for underserved populations, including participation in government programs like Medicaid, hawk-i and the Dental Wellness Program.

Innovation Grants award organizations up to $25,000 for projects that invest in innovative opportunities to improve wellness and vision through community health initiatives. Innovation grants awarded by the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation include:

  • Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center (Urbandale) received $25,000 to support 2 for 1 Training and Counseling Delivery Model. The project provides access to affordable mental health care to underserved populations, while simultaneously addressing Iowa’s mental health workforce shortage through delivery of a premium graduate training practicum and post-grad residency program. More than 95 percent of graduates become licensed mental health clinicians in the state of Iowa.
  • Feed Iowa First (Cedar Rapids) received $10,000 to support Grow Don't Mow. The project is focused on developing independent food systems by building partnerships with community businesses, organizations and schools utilizing urban landscapes to grow nutritiously dense produce that is distributed free of charge to those in need in Linn County.
  • Iowa ACEs 360 (Des Moines) received $25,000 to support Network Advocacy Outreach. This project will support Iowa ACEs 360 to build a robust advocacy network across Iowa to lead system change efforts that create equitable opportunities for children and families to improve well-being and thrive. 
  • Iowa Public Health Association Foundation (West Des Moines) received $21,901 to support the Health Equity Strategic Communication Network. This project supports an independent, member-led public health communication network to promote coordinated health equity resources for statewide dissemination to consistently reach Iowans with current, and scientifically valid information.
  • Opportunity on Deck and Courage League Sports (Urbandale) received $10,000 to support Strong Alone. Unstoppable Together! This project supports the strategic collaborative efforts of the two organizations to address the larger systemic issue of removing barriers to physical activity, whether it be socioeconomic, physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
  • Prevent Blindness Iowa (Des Moines) received $10,000 to support Children’s Vision Screening to detect vision problems early when treatment is more likely to be successful and before learning is impacted. Through this project, children in need will have access to vision care at their school and if needed will receive two pairs of glasses - one pair to stay at school and one pair to take home, removing barriers to access and learning.
  • United Way of East Central Iowa (Cedar Rapids) received $25,000 to support My Care Community Onboarding and Training. This project will enable streamlined, effective care coordination, increased efficiency in referrals, improved access to services and data tracking to improve health outcomes and address social determinants of health for underserved community members. Funding will support the onboarding and training needs of the participating 24 cross sector agency partners in Linn County.

Delta Dental of Iowa Ignite and Innovation Grant applications from Iowa agencies are reviewed twice a year and applications are due on May 1 and September 1.

Delta Dental of Iowa, a not-for-profit health and wellness company, provides dental and vision benefits to more than 1.2 million Iowans. Locally focused and nationally networked, Delta Dental of Iowa invests in oral health and wellness projects through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and community giving that focus on access to care, prevention, education and research. Since 2002, Delta Dental has invested more than $42 million to improve the oral health and overall health of Iowans.