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Grant Recipients

The MDS Foundation's grant programs focus on the Foundation's goal of improving the oral health of all citizens of Massachusetts and increasing access to care for underserved populations in the state. Each year the MDS Foundation awards gifts from its three grant programs: Access to Care, Targeted, and Ambassador Grants.  



2019-2020 Grant Recipients

Access to Care Grants

  • 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 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 hygienists into the Berkshires area to help address capacity building in the area, which is severely lacking in dentists and related dental care.
Targeted Grant
  • $2,000 was awarded to The Guild for Human Services in Concord to support the cost of administering a dental clinic for students with intellectual disabilities and complex special needs by helping fund the purchase of a new accessible and durable examination chair.

Foundation Ambassadors

  • The Foundation awarded Ambassador Grants to two MDS member dentists on a mission to spread the word about oral health during National Children’s Dental Health Month. Dr. Casey Jones, who practices in Lee, Massachusetts, used the power of the airwaves to share oral health tips with radio listeners and visited and three different schools to provide demonstrations on oral health. Dr. Sabina Malla, who practices in Fall River, Massachusetts, visited a preschool in North Dartmouth, where she distributed oral care kits and taught the children about caring for their teeth.
  • Dental student Richard Shen works with the Action for Children and Teens in Oral Health Need (ACTION) program to provide oral health care to children from low-income, ethnically diverse communities served by the Cambridge Health Alliance system. Under the guidance of Dr. Brian Swann of the Middlesex District, student coordinators work to recruit volunteers and operate monthly clinic sessions at the Windsor Street Dental Clinic in Cambridge.

2018-2019 Grant Recipients

Access to Care Grants

Each year, the Foundation awards Access to Care Grants to support sustainable programs that improve access to dental care for residents of the Commonwealth. Congratulations to the 2018-2019 Access to Care Grant recipients:

  • Forsyth Institute - $15,000 to help the organization provide oral health care to immigrant children at 60 sites, reaching those with difficulty accessing dental services.
  • Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center (GRMDC) - $25,000 to enable the center to expand dental access to patients of GRMDC and improve integration between its medical and dental departments.
  • Hillcrest Dental Care, Inc. - $20,000 to help the organization provide care to unserved and underserved Berkshire County children via a portable dental unit.
  • Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) - $16,000 to fund additional dental hygienist hours to support the all-volunteer dentists in its free dental clinic.

Targeted Grants

  • North Shore District - $1,980 to the Gloucester Children’s Dental Center to fund school bus transportation between Gloucester Public Schools and the Center to expand outreach to the underserved youth in Gloucester.
  • Southeastern District - $2,000 to the Elder Dental Program to cover a portion of the program's operations for a free spring dental screening clinic in Norfolk County on May 4, 2019.

Foundation Ambassadors

  • Dental student Alisha Desai and Dr. Samuel Coffin of the Boston District took part in Operation Mouthguard, which provides free custom-fitted mouthguards to underserved children.
  • Dr. Casey Jones of the Berkshire District runs a children’s health education and prevention program that includes school visits, radio interviews and sharing daily dental tips on social media. 
  • Dr. Diane Bonanni and Dr. Badrieh Edalatpour of the East Middlesex District organized an athletic mouthguard event at the Boys and Girls Club of Stoneham, taking impressions for custom mouthguards for children and teen athletes.
  • Dr. Diane Bonanni of the East Middlesex District developed an initiative aimed at improving plaque removal for autistic adults at Melmark New England.
  • Dr. Martha Forero of the Boston District organized a Give Kids a Smile event at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine to provide free dental care to children ages 0-13. 
  • Dr. Sabina Malla of the Southeastern District provides oral health education for children in a classroom setting in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

2017-2018 Grant Recipients

Access to Care Grants

Increasing access to dental care for underserved communities is one of the primary objectives of the MDS Foundation. Recipients are working hard to ensure that everyone in Massachusetts is able to have good oral health. Congratulations to the 2017-2018 Access to Care Grant recipients: 

  • Berkshire District - $25,000 was awarded to Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) to allow the organization to hire a part-time dentist for its dental clinic. The addition of a part-time dentist on staff will allow VIM to treat an additional 75-100 patients per year.
  • Boston District - $15,000 was awarded to the Forsyth Institute to expand the ForsythKids program in Lynn and Somerville. The expansion of this program will allow ForsythKids to provide dental care services ranging from preventive cleanings to urgent treatment of oral disease to undocumented minor immigrants lacking parental custody.
  • Merrimack Valley District - $20,000 was awarded to the Lowell Community Health Center to assist in purchasing equipment for its dental clinic expansion. Lowell Community Health Center is adding eight additional operatories to its clinic that will enable it to drastically increase the number of patients it can see per year.
  • Southeastern District - $20,000 was awarded to HealthFirst Family Care Center, Inc., to allow it to develop and implement an oral health program for older adults. This program will offer oral health education to help seniors minimize the need for invasive dental treatment, as well as oral health care management to assist seniors in scheduling and traveling to their appointments.
  • Wachusett District - $20,000 was awarded to Community Health Connections to help replace its oral surgery equipment so it can continue to provide residents of the Greater Fitchburg area with oral and maxillofacial surgery services.

Targeted Grants

  • Boston District - $2,000 to Hospitality Homes, an organization that supports patients and their families when they travel to Boston for health care.
  • Cape Cod District - Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss to Cape Kid Meals for dental goodie bags supplied to low-income children four times per school year.

Foundation Ambassadors

  • Dr. Dianne Bonanni and Dr. Badrieh Edalatpour of the East Middlesex District hosted an athletic mouthguard event at the Boys and Girls Club of Stoneham , taking impressions for custom mouthguards for children and teen athletes.
  • Dr. Dianne Bonanni of the East Middlesex District developed a program at Melmark New England to improve the oral hygiene of the autistic population.
  • Dr. Martha Forero of the Boston District hosted a Give Kids a Smile event at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. The two-day event provided free dental care to children ages 0-13.
  • Dr. Casey Jones of the Berkshire District created a children’s health education and prevention program that includes school visits, radio interviews and sharing daily dental tips on social media.
  • Dr. Sabina Malla of the Southeastern District provided oral health education for children and seniors. 
  • Dr. Andrea Richman of the Metropolitan District developed a vehicle to educate seniors about their oral health.

View a map of 2017-2018 MDS Foundation grant recipients.

2016-2017 Grant Recipients

Access to Care Grants

Congratulations to the 2016-2017 MDS Foundation Access to Care Grant recipients! The following organizations have been awarded Access to Care Grants to assist them in increasing the timely use of dental services to achieve the best oral health outcomes for residents of the Commonwealth.

  • Boston District - $25,000 was awarded to Bridge Over Troubled Water to support the cost of day-to-day operations for its in-house dental clinic. The clinic provides basic dental services to homeless youth in an environment that encourages them to maintain daily oral hygiene habits, make follow-up appointments to complete dental procedures, and understand the importance of participating in consistent dental health care.
  • Boston District - $15,000 was awarded to the Forsyth Institute to expand the ForsythKids school oral health program to provide preventive care to low-income teen moms and their children, as well as to minor immigrants lacking parental custody. The ForsythKids dental team brings full comprehensive dental services to children where they live and learn–at no cost to their families–to build a foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.
  • Valley District - $16,636.29 was awarded to Springfield Technical Community College to develop a low- and reduced-cost dental clinic with its current dental facility. This program will utilize a clinic on campus to provide restorative dental care at free and reduced cost to underserved populations in the Springfield community.

Targeted Grants

  • Metropolitan District - $2,000 to support Monster Fun Day hosted by WEEI radio in partnership with the Metropolitan District Dental Society
  • North Shore District - $1,980 to the Children’s Dental Center to support cost of transporting children to appointments from school
  • Southeastern District - $2,000 to the Elder Dental Program to support cost of administering the reduced-cost program
  • Cape Cod District - $2,000 to Cape Cod Community College for the purchase of a portable hygiene unit
Foundation Ambassadors
  • Dr. Michael Chow of the Valley District hosted a Give Kids A Smile Day event on February 4, 2017.
  • Drs. Martha Forero and Cheen Loo of the Boston District hosted a Give Kids A Smile Day event on February 5, 2017.
  • Drs. Badrieh Edalatpour and Diane Bonanni of the East Middlesex District hosted their second free mouthguard program for youth at the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce annual health fair on April 9, 2017.
  • Dr. Sabina Malla of the Southeastern District provided oral health education to 42 preschool aged children in the Fall River/Dartmouth area on April 13, 2017.
  • Dr. John Zarrella of the Metropolitan District hosted an oral cancer screening day on April 25, 2017.
Oral Hygiene Kits
  • Cape Cod District - 1,300 kits to Cape Kid Meals
  • Cape Cod District - 250 child and adult kits to St. David’s Church
  • Cape Cod District - 500 adults kits to Vinfen Crisis Stabilization Center
  • Worcester District - 200 adult and child kits to the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

2015-2016 Grant Recipients

Access to Care Grants

The MDS Foundation Grant Program focuses on the Foundation's primary goals of improving the oral health of all of the citizens of Massachusetts and increasing access to care for underserved populations in the state. Congratulations to the following organizations and programs that received 2015-2016 Access to Care Grants: 

  • Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in Worcester to build an additional operatory to increase patient capacity and decrease wait times
  • Volunteers in Medicine (VIM Berkshires) in Great Barrington to fund a part-time hygienist and a six-month quality assessment position
  • Community Health Center of Cape Cod in Mashpee to purchase an autoclave, mobile cart, Dentrix software, and hygiene instruments 
  • Boston Medical Center in Boston to provide implant-supported over dentures to the underprivileged
  • Bridge Over Troubled Waters in Boston to support the cost of day-to-day operations for an in-house dental clinic 
  • Forsyth Institute (multiple locations) to expand the Forsyth Kids School oral health program, providing preventive care to school-aged children, as well as children living in transitional housing

Foundation Ambassadors

Through their generosity and passion for dentistry, the Foundation Ambassadors work to help individuals from across the Commonwealth learn about the importance of oral health, provide vital oral health screenings, and give out dental care supplies to those in need. Ambassador projects that took place in 2015-2016 included:

  • Drs. Badrieh Edalatpour and Diane Bonanni of the East Middlesex District hosted a free mouthguard program for youth at the Stoneham Chamber of Commerce annual health fair.
  • Drs. Charles Gagne, James Morin, Edward Swiderski, and Michael Cooper of the Worcester District collaborated with the Black Stone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School and its dental assisting students to provide oral health education to first graders in the Worcester community.
  • Dr. Zameera Fida and Ms. Mirissa Price of the Boston District assisted Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Harvard Medical School in hosting a Give Kids A Smile program.
  • Dr. Amerlie Yi and Ms. Chloe Wong of the Middlesex District worked with the Cambridge Health Alliances to provide oral health and education in its student-run pediatric dental clinic.

2014-2015 Grant Recipients

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation awarded Access to Care Grants, totaling more than $46,000, to three organizations in Massachusetts: 

  • Community Health Connections of Fitchburg will purchase dental equipment and chairs to furnish two additional operatories.
  • Greater New Bedford Community Dental Center of New Bedford will purchase equipment and supplies to add endodontic and oral surgical procedures for patients.
  • The Forsyth Institute of Cambridge will expand the Forsyth Kids School Oral Health Program to additional sites and provide dental exams, cleanings, fluoride varnish, and sealants to preschool children.

The goal of the grants is to improve the oral health of residents of the Commonwealth.