People across Northern California who face challenges accessing oral health care will benefit from a recent grant to University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation.
The $225,000 gift will support a range of patient care services in the Bay Area as well as planning for a new program to increase the dental healthcare workforce to better serve low-income communities in the Central Valley.
Funds will help the school’s Student/Patient Emergency Fund assist low-income patients impacted by the pandemic who need assistance in paying for out-of-pocket costs to continue their treatment. The Dugoni School cares for nearly 20,000 patients from all walks of life at its dental clinics in downtown San Francisco. For those experiencing financial hardship, the Emergency Fund helps provide a subsidy to support care that will improve their quality of life and overall wellness, and prevent tooth loss and more costly procedures in the long term.
In addition, the grant will help provide comprehensive oral health care for low-income military veterans. The Dugoni School will partner with the nonprofit Everyone for Veterans to screen and identify patients to receive complementary care at the Dugoni School’s dental clinics. Expected positive outcomes include increased self-esteem, increased access to care, reduction in caries, increase in preventative care and reductions in emergency room visits among veterans, including those with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
In the Central Valley, the funds will help develop a unique mobile education program to train dental hygienists. Three of the metropolitan areas in the Central Valley rank among the poorest in the nation. The economic challenges in the region make it difficult to attract and retain healthcare workers to provide quality oral healthcare for its residents. The school will move forward on a planning phase including curriculum development, approvals, clinical partnerships and other steps.
“We are deeply appreciative of the ongoing support from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation and this new gift to enhance the oral health of underserved people in our communities,” said Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi, dean of the Dugoni School of Dentistry. “This funding will go a long way in helping us provide equitable access to care in our state and fulfill the Dugoni School’s purpose of helping people lead healthy lives.”
More details about dental services provided to the community are available on the Dugoni School’s website.
ABOUT THE DELTA DENTAL COMMUNITY CARE FOUNDATION
The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies including Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and Delta Dental of New York, Inc. Since 2011, the Foundation has awarded more than $60 million in funding and support to increase access to quality dental care, oral health education, and to advance scientific research across the company’s 15-state service area and the District of Columbia.
For more information about the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, please visit its website.