The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation has awarded more than $66,000 in Expanding Access to Dental Care grants to five organizations in the Commonwealth. The grants aim to improve the oral health of Massachusetts residents by supporting sustainable programs that improve access to dental care, the MDS said.
The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Foundation has been awarded $15,000 to continue its work helping newly immigrated youth at Somerville High School access oral healthcare. The funding will be used to expand access to restorative dental care to a larger population of teens who need treatment. It also will allow CHA to coordinate assessment, cleanings, and fluoride treatments at Somerville High School or an alternate location.
The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) has received $6,250 to support the expansion of the Massachusetts Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. This funding, along with matched funds from other supporters, will help DLN expand Massachusetts into a robust statewide program by providing funding for one fiscal year. The funds will be used to employ a coordinator who will help provide 31 patients with $84,000 in donated treatment and further develop the network of volunteer dentists and dental labs in Massachusetts.
On behalf of the ForsythKids Program, the Forsyth Institute has received $15,000 to continue providing a mobile dental program that seeks out patient populations who tend to have poorer oral health and more significant challenges accessing dental care. The funds will be used to provide teledentistry to safely reach more patients as well as targeted in-person treatment for urgent dental conditions. The funds also will support oral health education to every child in the program via virtual classes.
The Tufts University School of Dental Medicine’s Service With A Smile project has been awarded $15,000 to help provide dental screenings and care to veterans in the Greater Boston area, primarily those who are experiencing homelessness. Service With A Smile provides oral health education, screenings, care, and/or referrals to dental homes.
Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires has been awarded $15,000 to help continue providing dental services to uninsured or underinsured, income-qualified residents in the Berkshires. The grant also will allow VIM to continue its concerted effort to attract dentists and dental hygienists into the Berkshire area to help address capacity building in the region, which is severely lacking in dentists and related dental care.
“After an especially difficult year, we are incredibly grateful for all of the MDS Foundation donors who made it possible for us to help support these five worthy organizations,” said MDS Foundation chair Dr. Robert Lewando. “Everyone deserves access to oral healthcare, and it is because of initiatives such as these that so many additional Massachusetts residents will benefit from improved and expanded services.”