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MDS Foundation Awards 2019-2020 Access to Care Grants

Grants will help expand access to dental care in the Commonwealth

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass.—Jan. 13, 2020—The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation has awarded a total of nearly $100,000 in “Expanding Access to Dental Care” grants to six organizations in Massachusetts. The goal of the grants is to improve the oral health of residents of the Commonwealth by supporting sustainable programs that improve access to dental care. 

The grant recipients include:

  • The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) of Cambridge has been awarded $15,000 to continue its work helping newly immigrated youth at Somerville High School access dental care. The funds will be used to help address the current wait list for treatment. Expanding CHA’s program to include local dentists and dental professionals will help increase the number of specialized treatments and decrease wait times.
  • The Community Health Center of Franklin County has been awarded $15,000 to help expand an existing oral health urgent care access site located within Baystate Franklin Medical Center and adjacent to the Emergency Department. The facility opened in 2016 in response to the rising use of hospital emergency departments for ambulatory care dental conditions. The funding will help the access site increase the number of patients seen annually and improve the site’s overall safety and operations.
  • The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN), a national charitable organization based in Denver, Colorado, has been awarded $12,500 to support the expansion of the Massachusetts Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, which began in 2008 on a small scale. This funding, along with matched funds by other supporters, will help DLN expand the Massachusetts DDS program into a robust statewide program by providing funding for one fiscal year. The funds will be used to employ a coordinator that will help provide 65 patients with $180,000 in donated treatment through a network of volunteer dentists and dental labs in Massachusetts.
  • The Elder Dental Program, a program of HealthCare Options, Inc. of Attleboro, has been awarded $15,000 to help the program continue to serve the dental care needs of low-income, uninsured seniors in Bristol County and southern Norfolk County. Specifically, the funding will allow the Elder Dental Program to expand services to elders by adding one additional free dental screening clinic.
  • The Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, on behalf of the ForsythKids Program, has been awarded $15,000 to incorporate the Waltham Public School System into its care network. The ForsythKids portable dental program provides preventive oral health care and education to underserved children throughout the Commonwealth. This expansion adds 10 new project sites and approximately 300 new patients.
  • Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires in Great Barrington has been awarded $26,500 to help VIM continue providing dental services to uninsured or underinsured, income-qualified residents in the Berkshires. It will also allow VIM to make a concerted effort to attract dentists and dental hygienists into the Berkshires area to help address capacity building in the area, which is severely lacking in dentists and related dental care.

“Because of the generosity of MDS Foundation donors, we are able to help fund initiatives that improve the overall health of many Massachusetts residents who ordinarily might not receive care,” said MDS Foundation Chair Dr. Robert Lewando. “It is our hope that the Foundation will continue to grow so we can help sponsor additional services that will most benefit communities in need.”

About the Massachusetts Dental Society Foundation

The MDS Foundation is the charitable arm of the Massachusetts Dental Society. The MDS Foundation is dedicated to directing its charitable resources to improve the oral health of Massachusetts residents. To learn more, visit