Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in grants to improve the oral health of Arkansans.
The foundation board of directors approved almost $502,000 in 2024 Community Grants to 22 Arkansas nonprofits and schools, $60,000 in Oral Health Education Grants to two organizations, and close to $536,000 in Strategic Initiative Grants for three statewide projects.
The grants will deliver community-based oral health initiatives to tens of thousands of Arkansans, mainly low-income, uninsured or underinsured residents.
Two South Arkansas organizations received grants:
Lafayette County Dental Clinic, Inc., Lafayette County. Impact area — Southwest Arkansas.
Literacy Council of Bowie and Miller Counties, Miller County. Impact area — Southwest Arkansas
“This chapter of grant-making set records in our foundation’s history,” said Sharon Lanier, Ph.D., the foundation’s executive director. “We received the highest number of Community Grant applications ever, and we awarded our first-ever Strategic Initiative Grant to increase the number of school-based oral health centers in Arkansas, one of our key funding priorities. Countless Arkansans are likely to experience improved oral health and quality of life thanks to these projects.”
Organizations that received a total of $535,754 in Strategic Initiative Grants to test innovative ideas for the delivery and cultural perceptions of oral health care include Mainline Health Systems, Inc., Drew County.
The Strategic Initiative grant for Mainline Health Systems will increase the number of school-based dental clinics by four, from 15 to 19 by late 2024. All will be located in the Delta region of the state, identified as a dental provider shortage area. The expansion meets one of the foundation’s most essential funding preferences, as it enables more Arkansans to receive dental care early in life before emerging oral health issues compound over time and necessitate extensive and often painful treatments in adulthood.
Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation offers five grant programs for oral health projects.
Applications are typically accepted in mid-summer, with selections made in November and grant funds issued in January.
Other grant opportunities range from awards of up to $2,500 for one-time school-based requests to multi-year collaborative efforts exceeding $100,000.
CLICK HERE to see various application programs, guidelines and deadlines.