Idaho State University (ISU) will use a $500,000 gift from Delta Dental of Idaho to update its dental hygiene clinic with 15 new chairs, dental delivery systems, and lights to meet industry standards, according to the school. Also, 10 existing chairs will be retrofitted with new dental delivery systems and lights.
Much of the existing equipment in the clinic was originally installed in 1981. Though the gear has served the clinic well, the school said, today’s dental hygiene students need updated facilities for the highest level of training possible. The donation will enable them to join the modern dental industry and make a lasting impact on oral healthcare, the school said.
The donation is part of more than $2 million in funding that Delta Dental of Idaho is awarding companies and organizations in the state. This financial commitment builds on Delta Dental’s 49-year history of supporting Idaho’s oral health and continues its leadership in supporting the dental marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said.
“It’s incredibly important to have well-trained hygienists entering the oral healthcare field, and ISU’s four-year program is exceptional. Their students receive a well-rounded education along with superior oral health training that Idahoans can trust,” said Dr. Kyle Siemen, DMD, chair of the Delta Dental of Idaho Board of Directors.
“Those qualities and the fact that ISU’s oral health education perfectly aligns with Delta Dental of Idaho’s mission made supporting them with this donation an easy decision,” Siemen said.
“As one of the preeminent dental hygiene programs in the nation, we take seriously our commitment to outstanding student training,” said Rex Force, senior vice provost and vice president for health sciences at Idaho State University.
“The impact of the generous contribution from Delta Dental of Idaho allows us to enhance our training facilities and maintain excellence. Having state of the art equipment not only allows students to learn in a real-world environment, but also enhances our recruitment of the best and brightest students,” Force said.
“With Delta Dental’s help, we are thrilled to be able to provide improved facilities that benefit the patients our students serve and ultimately improves the health of Idahoans,” Force said.
Delta Dental of Idaho also has committed $800,000 to in-network dentists to help with the costs of personal protection equipment in addition to an initial $500,000 distributed to dentists early in the summer of 2020.
Also, the company has helped dentists in ensuring their access to federal funding as they navigated office closure mandates resulting from the pandemic. These efforts in particular will help ensure a strong dental network for members now as well as when the pandemic is over, Delta Dental of Idaho said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Delta Dental of Idaho also has donated $345,000 to Idaho free clinics and other community organizations, $50,000 to community schools, more than $30,000 in volunteer hours to various organizations, and more than 15,000 dental care kits across the state.