2021 Annual Report
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Sharing smiles. Caring for our communities.

2021 Delta Dental of Iowa Community Impact and Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Annual Report

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Delta Dental of Iowa is on a mission to improve the health and smiles of the people we serve. Through our Foundation and corporate funding, we partner with organizations that improve the oral and overall health of Iowans. We are committed to building and supporting systemic solutions to address health inequities in all Iowa communities. We are intentional about being inclusive, while focusing our efforts on marginalized populations with the greatest barriers to health.

I invite you to learn more about how we lived our mission through the work of Delta Dental and our Foundation throughout 2021.

Jeff Russell, President and CEO
Delta Dental of Iowa

At Delta Dental of Iowa, we are on a mission to improve the health and smiles of all Iowans. We deliver on this promise by providing dental and vision benefits to 1.5 million members and supporting Iowa nonprofits through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and our corporate giving.

In 2021, Delta Dental and our Foundation provided more than $3.3 million to support oral and overall health projects.

$3.3MIn Giving
264Organizations Received Funding


We are dedicated to improving the health and smiles of the people we serve.

  • Improve Lives
  • Exceptional Quality Service
  • One Team
  • Leadership at All Levels
  • Embrace Change
  • Bring Smiles
  • 1.5 million members in Iowa and across the country
  • 3,900 Iowa-based employers choose Delta Dental and DeltaVision for their employees
  • A member of the Delta Dental Plans Association serving more than 80 million members

About the Foundation

Delta Dental
of Iowa Foundation

Through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and Community Impact funding, we invest in projects that support oral health, overall health, and improve our communities.

Mission: Strengthen and transform the health and smiles of all Iowans.

How we define our work through an equity lens:

Oral health - Activities that promote healthy smiles for all Iowans

Oral and overall health integration- Activities that strengthen connections between dental, physical and emotional health

Overall health - Wellness, vision & related activities that enable Iowans to live healthy and active lives

  • All IowansAll Iowans deserve to be healthy. We address barriers within health care systems and strive for statewide reach with an equity lens.
  • Systems ChangeWe focus on strengthening and transforming systems. We pursue our mission to shift conditions to improve health.
  • PartnershipsWe recognize that our grantees’ and partners’ success IS our success, and we are committed to engaging with partners in a spirit of transparency and goodwill.
  • LeadershipWe are a leader in the sector. We aim to be a catalyst for change, a builder and an innovator. We actively engage partners in the philanthropic, public, and private sectors to advance our mission.

2021 Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and Community Impact Funding Distribution

2021 Highlights

  • $3.3 million provided to support our community, oral health and overall health initiatives
  • 3 FIND Loan Repayment recipients in 2021
  • 222,000 toothbrushes donated in all 99 Iowa counties

Oral and Overall Health Funding

Sharing smiles, improving lives

Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation proudly supports projects through direct investments to increase healthy activities to improve the oral, mental and physical health of Iowans. Here are a few highlights of programs that were funded in 2021.

Toothbrush Giving

The Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation donated more than 222,000 toothbrushes and provided educational materials to Iowa schools, clinics, hospitals, I-Smile™ coordinators and Head Starts in all 99 counties.

More About Toothbrush Giving

Rethink Your Drink promotes drinking more water throughout the day to support oral and overall health. In 2021, the Foundation invested more than $400,000 to support the Rethink Your Drink program by providing water bottle filling stations to 89 schools (37,400 students and staff). In addition, seven communities received an outdoor water station installed along trails and in public parks.

Over the past five years, the Foundation and Rethink Your Drink partners have provided 375 filling stations, impacting 184,400 students and staff for a total investment of more than $1.7 million.

More About Rethink Your Drink

System & Capacity Building Grants

Through our System and Capacity Building grants, we focus on strengthening and transforming health systems to shift conditions to improve health with the following grants:

Healthy Birth Day Inc.:
Improving birth outcomes through oral healthcare outreach - $72,000

Hawkeye Community College:
Matching grant for Grundy Hall Dental Clinic Renovation - $250,000

Iowa Department of Public Health:
I-Smile™ @ School for sealants in schools - $200,000

Eastern Iowa Health Center:
Expanding integrated oral health care for eastern Iowa Medicaid patients - $500,000

Iowa Department of Public Health:
I-Smile™ Silver Pilot Project addressing oral health for aging Iowans - $180,664

Iowa Primary Care Association:
Strategic investment in statewide health information technology system for access, integration, and health equity - $266,104

Image source: Healthy Birth Day Inc.

Community Change Grants

Community Change Grants provide funds over $25,000 to community partners to elevate their work and engage in a way that provides greater scale and impact.

Iowa ACES 360:
Support Strategic Messaging and Coordination Project - $50,000

Linn County Public Health:
Support My Care Community - $40,000

Strengthening The Sector Grants

The Foundation provided up to $25,000 to support nonprofit organizations and coalitions focused on serving populations disproportionately affected by the pandemic and associated complications due to longstanding systemic social and health inequities.

More About Grants

Image source: SALUD - Multicultural Health Coalition of Storm Lake

Ignite & Innovation Grants

In 2021, the Foundation funded $146,616 in Ignite and $263,798 in Innovation grants. Funding provided up to $25,000 to 20 projects seeking to infuse a spark, encourage learning or supporting transformative dental, vision, and overall wellness projects.

Some of these include projects to:

  • Improve oral and overall health of expecting moms, immigrants and refugees
  • Reduce stigma and increase access to mental health services
  • Increase access to vision exams and glasses
  • Expand LGBTQ+ care coordination and inclusive health resources
  • Support health and dental care workforce pipelines

Spring 2021 Grants Fall 2021 Grants

Image source: Healthiest State Initiative

DeltaVision Free Vision Clinic

As part of our commitment to supporting the health and wellness of Iowans, Delta Dental hosted a free, volunteer-led vision clinic at Oakridge Neighborhood, a nonprofit housing and human services agency located in Des Moines’ urban core. Delta Dental and DeltaVision worked in partnership with OneSight, Prevent Blindness Iowa and Oakridge Neighborhood to provide more than 400 vision screenings, 347 eye exams, and 299 free pairs of glasses to community members.

community members received vision care
pairs of glasses

Learn more about the vision clinic from providers, volunteers and patients.


Watch Now

The Fulfilling Iowa’s Need for Dentists (FIND) Project is committed to connecting dentists and underserved communities with the resources needed to combat Iowa’s dental workforce shortage and ensure dental care is close to home for every Iowan.

Recipients received up to $100,000 each for the repayment of dental education debt.

Since 2002, 55 private-practice dentists have participated in the Loan Repayment and FIND programs to provide 266,000 patient visits and more than 740,000 dental services to underserved Iowans.

2021 FIND Recipients

Dr. Kent Downing Marshalltown

Dr. Carolyn Duong Muscatine/West Liberty

Dr. Annalee Fencl Decorah

FIND project partners include Delta Dental of Iowa and its Foundation as well as numerous organizations like these. For more information, visit www.iowafindproject.com.

Iowa Area Development Group Aureon College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics Iowa Department of Public Health Iowa Dental Association Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Charitable Giving &
Employee Engagement

Making a Difference

Delta Dental’s corporate giving program supports giving back and helping bring smiles to Iowans. In 2021, we provided more than $346,000 in direct contribution funding across the state to community organizations for health-related and charitable programs and events.

More than $346,000 in corporate giving

Charitable Giving

Direct Contributions

Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation

How to Apply for Funding

The Foundation invests in projects that support its Community Impact Program goals and programs that support oral health, oral health and overall health integration, and overall health, including vision and behavioral health. Funding will also focus on three critical areas: education and advocacy, access and prevention, and policy and research.