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22 Chicago organizations receive grants to improve health care

22 Chicago organizations are among those statewide recently awarded grants through two programs that together provided nearly $3 million this year to help improve the oral and overall health of Illinoisans.

These grant programs aiming to improve health care across the state through education and access to quality care are the COVID-19 Renewal Grant program, funded by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s Community Grants program.

Chicago recipients of $86,000 COVID-19 Renewal Grants include:

Alivio Medical Center, Chicago

Alivio Medical Center provides health care to communities who are uninsured and underinsured. Funding will be used to offset rising operational costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting staff including bilingual patient navigators who assist patients and families with negotiating care.

Asian Human Services Family Health Center, Inc.

The Asian Human Services Family Health Center, Inc., operates four Federally Qualified Health Centers in Chicago and the northern suburbs for anyone who needs care, regardless of ability to pay. The centers will use the grant funding to improve their integrated pediatric healthcare practice, providing both oral and medical services to children, and to support the dental clinic’s return to pre-pandemic productivity.

Beloved Family Wellness Center, Chicago

Beloved Family Wellness Center offers services to patients and families in Englewood and surrounding communities.  We will use our grant funds for Continued Pandemic Efforts of Improving Children’s Oral Health Access and Outcomes Project” to continue to support the hiring of oral health staff.

Chicago Family Health Center, Inc., Chicago

The Chicago Family Health Center, Inc., provides care for the medically underserved on Chicago’s south and southeast sides through a network of six locations and offers a dental home to thousands of children. The Center will use its grant for its dental program operations, to provide access to vital dental services for the communities they serve.

Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Chicago

The Community Health Partnership of Illinois is using its grant funding to provide direct oral health services to children living in Kankakee County and the surrounding counties. CHP will utilize its mobile dental clinic and ongoing outreach efforts with the state migrant education programs and migrant and seasonal head start programs as well other outreach team members and programs to actively identify children in need of immediate services, as well as those without an immediate need but also without a medical/dental home.

Erie Family Health Foundation, Inc., Chicago

Erie Family Health Foundation, Inc. will use its funding to help meet growing demand for high-quality oral health services within the community it serves. The grant will enable them to maintain existing services in the coming year while planning for further expansion to serve more children in the future.

Heartland International Health Center, Chicago

Heartland International Health Center will use its grant to fund the reopening of its school-based health center clinic and the salaries of a full-time program dentist and manager of specialty care quality. The grant will also be used for ongoing costs for special equipment and supplies necessary for new clinical protocols for enhanced patient, provider, and staff safety.

Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago

Howard Brown Health Center delivers health services to patients in areas disproportionately affected by health disparities at 11 clinical sites throughout Chicago, with a focus on the LGBTQ community, its allies and people with HIV/AIDS. The grant will be used to support dental staff as well as ongoing safety and infection control measures.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago

The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago cares for pediatric patients who are enrolled in Medicaid, have special needs, or are living in poverty and provides equitable and quality oral health care, education, prevention, and treatment. Grant funding will help close the gap in revenue due to the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and serve additional children in the community.

Lawndale Christian Health Center, Chicago

Lawndale Christian Health Center is a medical home to more than 65,000 patients, including 19,500 children, and offers a variety of services, including dental care. Grant funds will help support the salaries of dental staff and ensure the community has adequate access to dental services.

Mile Square Health Center, Chicago

The Mile Square Health Center is located in the Back of the Yards community and has been offering healthcare services for 13 years. They will use grant funding to upgrade equipment and help support the clinic staff to spend additional time with patients to screen for and facilitate inter-clinic referrals as needed for support service.

Mobile CARE Foundation, Chicago

The Mobile CARE Foundation will use grant funding to support the integration of dental and primary care records, tracking of internal and external referrals as well as increased follow-up to ensure referrals are actualized. Grant funding will also include a broad expansion of the Mobile Dental Program to bring oral health access to thousands of children in need.Near North Health Service Corporation, ChicagoNear North Health Service Corporation will use the grant for its Pediatric Dental Days program, which encourages parents and children to visit the dentist. Funds will be specifically used for a part-time dentist to be able to increase the number of patients seen in their clinic, and to also cover for a portion of the dental director’s supervisory time. Intraoral cameras and flat screen TVs will be purchased to allow dental providers to explain dental findings and engage children and parents in oral health care. In addition to that, murals will be also acquired to create child-friendly operatories, with an inviting atmosphere, in order to alleviate anxiety and create a positive experience for the pediatric patients.PrimeCare Community Health, Inc., ChicagoPrimeCare Community Health, Inc.’s oral health program reduces healthcare disparities for children in underserved Chicago communities. The grant will support preventive, restorative, and emergency dental services to children under 18.

Chicago recipients of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Community Grants include:

America’s ToothFairy, Illinois ($4,000)Building upon a successful pilot project done in partnership with Delta Dental of North Carolina, the Illinois Story Time Smiles Initiative will provide ten libraries with the tools they need to establish hygiene closets with resources for 100 children. These resources will include oral health educational materials and bookmarks with oral health tips. They can also find information on how to find a safety net dental clinic, activity booklets with a brushing chart, virtual training for library staff and children’s books featuring oral health topics to read during story time.

Chicago Family Health Center (CFHC) – Chicago ($20,000)Chicago Family Health Center offers direct dental services at four of its six sites: Chicago Lawn, South Chicago, Pullman, and East Side. Patients at the Roseland location can access dental services at CFHC’s Pullman site and patients at the school‐based health center location can access dental services at CFHC’s South Chicago site. Dental services are offered as part of CFHC’s integrated care model, making medical, behavioral health, and dental services accessible to all. Funding will help provide oral health services to 1,100 children.Girls in the Game, Chicago and Bloomington ($5,000)After School participants play sports, learn about healthy lifestyle choices, and improve their leadership skills in an all-girl setting. Typically, 90-minute sessions take place weekly for up to three 10-week-long seasons over the course of the school year. They will serve 1,000 girls in Chicago this school year. Funding will be utilized for the personal hygiene rotations which include practicing good oral hygiene. The girls will learn how to properly care for their teeth and will leave with a proper brushing tip sheet.Howard Area Community Center, Chicago ($5,000)Since 1988, the Eleanor Wester Dental Clinic has been serving Rogers Park, a designated Medically Underserved Area, and is the only one of five clinics serving individuals with HIV/AIDS in Northern Cook County. Howard Area Community Center Eleanor Wester Dental Clinic provides uninsured or underinsured families with preventive, therapeutic, and emergency dental care as well as bilingual oral health education. Funding will be utilized to support the costs of the dental staff.

Illinois Dental Hygienists’ Association, Chicago ($20,000)Public Health Dental Hygienists (PHDHs) practice in settings where people wouldn’t otherwise seek care like federal qualified health centers and WIC programs. PHDHs are expected to increasingly alleviate access to oral care disparities in the coming years. Funding for this program would reimburse up to approximately 100 qualified registered dental hygienists for successfully completing PHDH certification.

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago ($20,000)Infant Welfare Society delivers oral health services to underserved children. With funding, IWS determines that more than 4,000 underserved children 17 years and younger will have access to equitable oral health care, education, prevention, and treatment.

Mobile Care Chicago ($10,000)Mobile Care Chicago’s dental clinic travels primarily in Cook County’s Southern and Western municipalities, underserved areas of Chicago, and Waukegan. The need for comprehensive pediatric oral health providers is extreme in all three areas, but particularly in the Southern suburbs. With funding, Mobile Care plans to provide care to 7,500 children.

University of Illinois Board of Trustees- UIC Dental School, Chicago ($20,000)The Treating our Toddlers (TOT’s) Program for Infant Oral Health is a multidisciplinary program focusing on establishing a dental home for children ages newborn to three years. This holistic approach will assess the dental, medical, nutritional, psychosocial, and developmental needs of patients either through one of our team members directly or via the appropriate referrals, facilitated by a social worker/care coordinator. Approximately 350 Illinois children will be served by this grant.

“These programs make a difference in countless lives by helping Illinois children and families get the health and dental care they need,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. “With these programs, we’re continuing to help alleviate obstacles to oral health care by working hand-in-hand with organizations statewide to improve access to quality health careand provide education, which is key to setting the foundation for a lifetime of good health.”

Bob Egan, senior program officer of Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, added the COVID-19 Renewal Grants aim to break down barriers preventing children from accessing quality, comprehensive oral health services. 

“Our vision is for every child in Illinois to grow up healthy,” Egan said. “Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation is proud to partner with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation in this important work of eliminating health disparities across the state.”

Details about the two foundations’ Community Grants and COVID-19 Renewal Grants are below:

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Community Grants: Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation awarded $255,000 to 19 nonprofit and community organizations through its annual Community Grants Program. Each organization shares the Foundation’s mission of improving children’s oral health throughout Illinois. View a full list of recipients at deltadentalil.com/community-grants-2022.

COVID-19 Renewal Grants: More than $2.7 million was awarded by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to 32 Illinois health centers and clinics that deliver vital health care services to residents who may face obstacles to care. The grants, which were renewed in 2022 to organizations that received them in 2021, aim to offset costs associated with reopening and continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. View a full list of recipients at deltadentalil.com/covid-19-renewal-grants-2022 

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 and is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois, with a specific focus on children. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $15 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information, visit deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.

About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: Every child in Illinois grows up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grant making on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. For more information, go to ilchf.org. To date, the Foundation has committed over $111 million to help achieve its vision.

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