Free clinic receives dental grant

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Western Tidewater Free Clinic was awarded a $5,000 grant from Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation to support the free clinic’s commitment to improving oral health.

“They make a significant impact for us for covering supplies,” said Ashley Greene, director of development for the Western Tidewater Free Clinic. “We do a lot of dentures, and we had 625 patients served in dental program in 2,126 visits.”

The free clinic serves residents of Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County that have no medical insurance and live at or below twice the federal poverty level. This qualified them for the grant they received along with 40 other organizations just like them.

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“The $5,000 grant from Delta Dental Foundation, one of several critical WTFC dental program funders, supports almost 15 percent of our overall dental supply budget,” Greene said.

Delta Dental provided all 40 organizations with $370,500 in grants to assist with dental supplies, lab fees, operational expenses and providing dental education scholarships. The focus of the grants is for youth, the uninsured and medically underserved.

“Delta Dental believes in the power of a healthy smile and the importance of oral health to overall health and well-being,” President and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Dental of Virginia Frank Lucia said in a press release. “We are proud to partner with these wonderful organizations to improve the lives of so many Virginians.”

Delta Dental’s foundation has been providing grants for the last six years to 63 organizations. The foundation has awarded more than $4.2 million since 2012.

“Dental supplies are necessary on a daily basis to support our patients’ access to dental care,” said WFTC Executive Director Chet Hart. “Many have gone years without dental care and require fillings, extractions, and/or dentures, and some have never had their teeth cleaned. With our record-breaking patient numbers in 2017, we are very grateful for Delta Dental’s support of our ever-growing dental program.”