2022 Community Grant Winners

The Illinois State Dental Society Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2021 Community Grant Awards. The grant program attracted the interest of 20 worthwhile organizations that are actively working to expand access to oral health care services to needy individuals around the state. This year $100,000 in grant monies were awarded to thirteen organizations for projects designed to provide access to dental care and increase oral health awareness and education.

Applications were evaluated according to the following guidelines:

• Congruence of the project to the mission of the ISDS Foundation
• Potential for, or history of, continuous program operations
• An increase in oral health awareness among those reached by the project
• Potential impact on a target community or audience
• Potential enhanced efficiency by which oral health services are delivered

After careful review, the grant review committee selected the following winners:

Mid America Center for Dental Wellness $8,500
They will provide high quality digital radiographs for underserved children with mixed dentition. The monies will be used to purchase a size 1 digital x-ray sensor and corresponding remote module, which will be used predominatly for preteen and children in order to provide a more comfortable and accurate dental radiograph experience.

Southern Illinois University (Give Adults a Smile Summer Clinic) $4,000
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The funds will be use for the Give Adults a Smile Summer Clinic. The specific objectives of the program are to provide oral health services to the underserved adult populations in southern Illinois. Our primary focus this year will be the adult patients who make appointments in the Dental Hygiene Clinic. Most of the adult patients who are treated do not have any form of dental insurance and some are on a limited or fixed income. We want to ensure these patients receive optimum oral health education and information that will improve their oral health and overall health. Another objective is to provide options for a dental home within our local SIU Community Dental Center to have their restorative needs met.

Elgin Adventist Church $10,000
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The main event is the annual Heal Elgin Clinic, an absolutely free, multi-specialty, 2-day clinic for the underserved population. Services include Dental Care (dental exams, x-rays, fillings, extractions, and cleaning). For every $1,000 donated, we are able to turn that into $8,000 of healthcare services. We plan to expand the program in 2022, which will increase the cost for supplies and equipment. That cost is estimated to be $45,000. Our goal is to expand the program from once a year to several times a year. The grant money will go to support and expand the dental need of our targeted patient population.

ICN SHIFA Clinic $7,000
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ICN SHIFA CLINIC is a free medical clinic established in 2017. The clinic added dental services beginning in April 2021. The clinic relies on donations (monetary and used equipment) from the generous members of the community. We are applying for this grant in order to buy new equipment for the dental clinic. The grant money would allow us to buy a new autoclave, cavitron unit, and dental materials like composite and bond that are expensive items. The equipment currently in use has been donated and used. Some equipment is not in working condition and will not last us for years to come.

Aurora Christian Healthcare $6,500
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The Aurora area has a substantial number of uninsured residents who have little or no access to healthcare. Aurora Christian Healthcare is requesting a grant of $10,000 from the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation. These funds will help address this need in our community, by sponsoring clinics to provide free dental care and dental hygiene services for uninsured Aurora area individuals.

Community Health Care Clinic $10,000
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The CHCC Dental Clinic offers free acute, restorative and preventative adult dental services to existing CHCC patients. The facility is equipped with four dental suites, outfitted entirely by donated furniture and equipment. We seek a grant of $10,000 to help us replace a 40 year-old chair and to purchase a new portable x-ray machine. The lowest bid to purchase both pieces of equipment is $10,294.

Dental Lifeline Network: IL $7,500
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Our objectives for the coming fiscal year (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023) are as follows: 360 Illinoisans with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile and unable to afford or otherwise access dental treatment will receive $900,000 in comprehensive pro bono dental care that restores our patients' dental health, allowing them to live pain-free, eat a regular, balanced diet, and have a better quality of life.

Hult Center for Healthy Living $7,500
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Dental health was ranked among the top ten health concerns among respondents in the Peoria Tri-County area, according to the Community Health Needs Assessment (2019). This program aims to provide dental health education and resources to those at risk for poor dental health. We will provide 1,000 low-income, at-risk Pre-K-1 st grade students with hands-on oral health and nutrition education to help children develop lifelong healthy dental habits and better overall health.

OPRF Infant Welfare Society $6,500
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The Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society, owners of the IWS Children’s Clinic, will use the monies to help cover costs related to purchasing the proper dental tools for their new seventh dental operatory. Since the demand for general and specialized children’s dental care has skyrocketed, their Board of Directors has approved plans to buildout a seventh dental operatory in an existing space that will increase our capacity and ensure our dental services remain accessible to the low-income communities that rely on our care. These professional tools are necessary to have the new dental chair fully operational by the fall of 2022.

RefugeeOne $10,000
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Monies will support RefugeeOne's Dental Clinic. RefugeeOne’s objective is to provide free, comprehensive and preventative dental care and oral health education to underserved refugees. With these services, refugees will receive the dental care they could not otherwise afford and consequently experience improved overall health.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Dental Services $5,000
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SBL Dental Services provides free oral health care and education to low-income children in a rural 7-county region of east central Illinois. Working in partnership with local schools, health departments and volunteer dentists, the program provides comprehensive care to eligible children via a combination of mobile and fixed-site services. We also have some dollars available to provide dental clearance for patients of our hospital who are having surgery or cancer treatments that require dental clearance. In the past we had some dollars available for adult patient referrals from hospital/clinic providers for emergency care. Funds were no longer available and we are looking to reinstate this voucher system for emergency care for adults who qualify (Medicaid/Medicare and no dental insurance) .

Swedish Hospital Foundation $10,000
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Swedish Hospital Dental Clinic's Restoring Smiles Program provides free, life-changing dental services for low-income individuals with no access to services, patients who have experienced injuries requiring emergency dental care, and survivor of domestic violence, human trafficking and sexual assault who have dental related injuries and/or neglect. The monies will be used to support the patient charges for 20-40 low-income patients in need of dental treatment.

Well Child Center $7,500
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For nearly 50 years, Well Child Center (WCC) has been a leader in the provision of health and social services for low-income families and uninsured, at-risk children residing in Kane County and the surrounding communities. The WCC pediatric dental clinic is dedicated to preventing tooth decay in underserved populations by providing dental education, early treatment, and establishing a regular schedule of dental check-ups for children 1 year of age through age 18. The monies will plan and implement a training program for WCC pediatric dental clinic staff on the “teach back” method. They will also plan and implement a community education and awareness raising event/activities as part of “National Children’s Dental Health Month in February of 2023.

Applications for the next round of grants will be available in the spring of 2023. The ISDS Foundation Community Grants initiative, which began in 2006, is made possible because of the generous support of Illinois dentists and other ISDS Foundation donors.