The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Brighter Way Institute to help fund staffing for its three dental centers. The expanded staff will enable the organization to care for an additional 3,000 patients over the next 12 months.
Through comprehensive dental treatment, Brighter Way serves working poor and homeless adults, children and youth living in foster care, veterans, and low-income and undocumented students in the Murphy and Isaac school districts in Arizona.
“Good oral health is a critical component of a person’s overall wellness, but can often be a challenge in underserved communities,” said Renee Parsons. “Bob and I are proud to continue supporting Brighter Way Institute as they provide services to those who otherwise have no access to dental care.”
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Brighter Way, including funding the expansion of its pediatric dental clinic, the Parsons Center for Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics.
The center provides services to thousands of children who suffer from untreated mouth and tooth infections that often result in missed school days and an inability to focus on learning due to chronic pain.
“Renee and I believe that anyone who needs healthcare in the USA should receive it, without regard to race, religion, station in life, or how they got here,” said Bob Parsons. “We are proud to support Brighter Way because that’s exactly how they operate.”
The grant will help fund the additional staffing needs of Brighter Way’s three dental clinics, the Brighter Way Dental Center, the Canyon State Academy Dental Center, and the Parsons Center for Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, which all previously ran under the auspices of Central Arizona Shelter Services.
The Brighter Way Dental Center is the Institute’s primary clinic and offers comprehensive dental care to homeless, underinsured, and uninsured adults. The Canyon State Academy Dental Center provides care to at-risk youth in the foster care program.
“The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation’s continued support will make it possible for us to serve thousands of people in dire need of dental care,” said Brighter Way Institute founder and CEO Kris Volchek, DDS.
“The return on investment in restoring someone’s smile is incalculable. They not only experience a renewed self-confidence, but many will be able to eat without pain and digest food properly for the first time in years,” Volchek said.
The Brighter Way Institute has treated more than 130,000 patients since opening in 2001. Using a unique model that incorporates both staff and volunteer dentists, it addresses the social determinants of health inequity among the poor and homeless of Maricopa County, Arizona.