Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) will provide $3.5 million in funding over three years to 31 Colorado nonprofit organizations to support projects that create accessible oral health care across the lifespan and advance oral health equity.

“We believe oral health equity means everyone can have a healthy mouth regardless of life circumstances,” said Adeeb Khan, executive director of Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.

“Partnering on community-driven solutions is essential to achieving our mission. With a 21% increase in applications during our second open grantmaking cycle, there is a clear need for on-going, dedicated oral health funding in the state.”

The second group of DDCOF open funding grantees have identified solutions that address oral health disparities aligned with the DDCOF’s focus areas: access to oral health care, prevention of tooth decay and strengthening the connection between oral health and overall health.

Two newly funded organizations in Delta and Montrose will receive funds to help provide affordable, accessible and comprehensive oral health care.

All American Families in Delta will connect the 5% lowest income children and families living in the county to oral health care and provide ongoing education.

Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy and Research Organization (Metro River Valley Family Health Center /Montrose) will provide comprehensive oral health services at the Olathe clinic for uninsured, underinsured, low-income families and migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

In the area of tooth decay prevention, DDCOF will give grant money to four communities in Colorado and two statewide programs.

Reach Out and Read Colorado will receive grant money to support the purchase of oral health books and supplies for 500 children annually, living in 12 Colorado counties with limited or no dental services.

Special Olympics Colorado will also receive funds to provide dental screenings to children and adults participating in Special Olympics activities. These screenings will also train dental students working with patients who have intellectual disabilities.

In addition, DDCOF will provide funding to a number of statewide/local non-profits including Benefits in Action, a statewide program, that supports older adults and Medicaid patients to dental homes and conduct a study on the connection of oral health and access to nutritious food.

Hope West in Grand Junction will receive funds to create and implement an oral health and hygiene program for seniors 65 years and older in the organization’s wellness clinic.

“Whether they live in a dental health professional shortage area or cannot afford care, too many Coloradans lack access to proper oral health care. Our open funding partners have identified dynamic solutions to oral health challenges. We’re honored to invest in their implementation and broaden our collaboration with communities to help more people live healthier lives,”Khan said.

Over the past two years, DDCOF has awarded $6.9 million in oral health-focused grants to Colorado communities.

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