The Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation has awarded grants to 39 non-profit organizations that work with underserved populations of all ages through oral health and nutritional programs. A total of $793,149 funds were awarded to support projects and services promoting good oral health practices and increasing access to dental care among underserved children, pregnant women, seniors and adults, as well as nutritional access programs such as food banks, after-school and weekend food programs for children, and senior delivery programs. 

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“To advance our mission to create a path to better health and wellness, Delta Dental of Arizona is focused on promoting whole-body health,” said Michael Jones, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Arizona and president of the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation. “Supporting this year’s group of recipients is another way to achieve this objective for Arizonans throughout the state.” 

Grants were awarded in two funding categories: Community Grants and IMPACT Grants. 

Community grants ranging from $5,000 to $30,000, as well as dental supplies as needed, were presented to 36 Arizona nonprofits, including 11 first-time recipients. The recipients are:

  • A.T. Still University Clinical Education and Outreach Clinic
  • Adelante Healthcare Inc
  • AzDA Cares Foundation 
  • Back to School Clothing Drive
  • Children’s Clinics for Rehabilitative Services*
  • Children’s Museum of Phoenix
  • Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc.
  • Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
  • Diana Gregory Outreach Services
  • Dignity Health Foundation – East Valley
  • Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center*
  • Foundation for Senior Living*
  • Harvest Compassion Center*
  • Kitchen on the Street
  • Live and Learn 
  • Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest*
  • McMillen Health*
  • National Kidney Foundation of Arizona
  • Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH)
  • North Country HealthCare
  • Northern AZ Council of Governments
  • Prescott Community Cupboard Food Bank, Inc.
  • Rio Salado College*
  • Sedona Community Food Bank
  • Senior Citizens of Patagonia, Inc
  • Smiles For Veterans
  • Southwest Human Development
  • St. Mary’s Food Bank*
  • Sun Life Health
  • Sunset Community Health Center, Inc.
  • TheSmileZone Inc.*
  • Tucson Children’s Museum
  • UMOM New Day Centers
  • United Food Bank*
  • Valleywise Health Foundation
  • Youth On Their Own*

*denotes first-time grant recipient 

The Delta Dental IMPACT Grant program, which began in 2020, awards organizations two-year grants totaling $100,000 each, with $50,000 awarded each year. Nonprofits invited to apply for these grants provide oral health services and education to more than 650 children, pregnant women or seniors and have a proven record of fiscal and reporting responsibility. 

The IMPACT recipients are: 

  • Advance Community’s Arizona Oral Health Education Program, which educates children in Title 1 schools and various day care centers across the Valley about the importance of proper daily hygiene practices, proper brushing/flossing techniques and the need for routine dental visits. The program is available in both English and Spanish as needed. Advance provides each participant with a Smile Bag that contains an age-appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss, as well as referrals to dental providers who offer dental care at reduced/no cost.
  • Tooth BUDDS, which is a group of affiliated dental practice hygienists who serve the children of Graham and Greenlee counties by providing dental screenings, dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnish, Silver Diamine Fluoride applications at no cost at the school location. 
  • El Rio Health Center’s Pediatric Dental Integration Program expands direct dental screening, varnish and oral health education during children’s medical well visits by embedding dental hygiene teams in five El Rio Health clinic locations throughout Tucson. 

The grant program is one of many investments Delta Dental of Arizona has made to support access to health and wellness statewide. 

“In addition to these grants, in February 2024, Delta Dental of Arizona will partner with the Children’s Museum of Phoenix for the 16th consecutive year to bring oral health programming to the Museum for the month of February – National Children’s Dental Health Month,” said Barb Kozuh. “The Museum will host interactive activities, shows and educational information related to the mouth, teeth, and oral health all month long.”

Thanks to Delta Dental of Arizona, oral health programming and activities are free with paid Museum admission. Children under the age of 1 are free as are members of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

“Beyond our grant program and Children’s Dental Health Month collaborate with the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Delta Dental of Arizona is focused on several key programs and initiatives to increase education around and access to health and wellness across Arizona,” said Kozuh. 

According to Kozuh, this includes a partnership Arizona PBS to educate children on good oral health, the Delta Dental of Arizona Oral Health Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul, critical work with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and the Banner Health Foundation Hospital Oral Care and Periodontal Disease Education (HOPE) program protocol.