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 two programs: Access to Care grants and Targeted grants.
2022-2023 Grant Recipients
- Action for Children and Teens in Oral Health Need (ACTION) received a $15,000 Access to Care grant from the MDS Foundation to help fund a low-cost clinic providing preventative, diagnostic, and restorative oral health care to children and teens in Greater Boston and Cambridge. The program strives to correct disparities in access to pediatric oral health care by offering a sustainable, low-cost clinic.
- Dental Life Network—Massachusetts Donated Dental Services Program (DDS) was awarded a $12,500 Access to Care grant to meet the oral health needs of 40 individuals with disabilities, fragile medical conditions, and the elderly across the State. DDS works with local dental professionals to provide care and improve the oral health of Massachusetts residents, with no other way to receive care. See semi-annual report on their impact.
- The Holyoke Health Center’s (HHC) MDS Foundation Access to Care grant of $12,350 will be used to expand the Center’s oral health program closing the gap in needs for children 0-18 in the Holyoke area. The mission of HHC is to improve the health of patients through affordable, quality health care and comprehensive community-¬based programming creating a healthy community.
- Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires (VIM) was awarded $25,000 from a MDS Foundation Access to Care grant to continue building a pipeline of hygiene and dental student volunteers who donate dental care to uninsured or underinsured patients in the Berkshires. VIM’s mission is to provide access to free, comprehensive care for income-qualified adults in the region who are uninsured or under-insured.
2021-2022 Grant Recipients
Access to Care Grants
- The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) has been awarded a $15,000 grant for their ongoing work with newly immigrated youth at Somerville High School’s Oral Health Access Program. The monies will be used to decrease wait times for oral health problems, increase access to care and educational resources, and enhance communication between dental homes, care coordinators, and community partner dentists.
- The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) received $12,500 in grant money to continue funding the Massachusetts Donated Dental Services program (DDS). DLN is a national charitable organization that provides access to dental care for society’s most vulnerable individuals. In 2008 DLN established the Massachusetts DDS program. Funding from the 2021-2022 grant will be used to care for 40 individuals with disabilities, fragile medical conditions, or those unable to afford care. These patients will receive $90,000 in pro bono dental care to remedy their ailments. Funds will also support the DDS coordinator position, recruiting efforts for volunteer dentists, training and technical assistance for staff, and increased communication about the program.
- On behalf of the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, the ForsythKids Program was awarded $15,000 for a mobile dental program for patient populations with poorer oral health and more significant challenges accessing dental care. In 2020 they refocused measures to teledentistry and urgent dental conditions. A portion of the funding will be used to restore and expand operations as dental partners return to normal. Efforts will also continue to focus on improved oral health for at-risk children in Massachusetts and developing a more cost-effect, sustainable service model.
- Franciscan Children’s received a $6,700 grant from the MDS Foundation for the Pediatric Dentistry Program to purchase a hand-held x-ray machine. This machine will allow Children’s to increase practice efficiency, serve more patients, and better accommodate the unique needs of their young patients. Many Franciscan patients have physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions that can limit the use of their current wall-mounted x-ray machines. Upgrading the x-ray equipment will immediately elevate the standard of care now served.
- Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) University Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene received a $15,000 MDS Foundation Access to Care Grant for the Neighborhood SMILES and Worcester EYES Program. This program addresses the problem of limited access to oral health and vision education and services for underserved populations. The funds will be used for weekly oral health and vision education, transportation, and oral health assessments and treatments.
- Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) was awarded a $15,000 Access to Care Grant from the MDS Foundation. This grant will address the need for additional dental services for veterans in the Greater Boston area. Funds will be used to increase access to oral health care to more veterans, improve awareness of oral health needs for veterans among the TUSDM faculty and staff, and involve dental students of all levels in providing education and services to veterans.
- Holyoke Health Center (HHC), $2,000 — This funding will be used toward the purchase of key equipment which will increase the dental clinic’s capacity and shorten patient visit times. HHC provides a full range of pediatric and adult dental services to those unable to access or afford basic dental care.
- Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) Autism Smile Project, $2,000 — This grant money will be used for sensory toolkit items for 30 families who participate in the Autism Smile Project. Autism Smile provides children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) the opportunity to be introduced to the provider, the dental chair, instruments, and all sensory stimulations that may occur on a typical dental visit. Sensory toolkits are distributed to every child who participates in the program.
2020-2021 Grant Recipients
- The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) Foundation of Cambridge has been awarded $15,000 to continue its work helping newly immigrated youth at Somerville High School access oral health care. The funding will be used to expand access to restorative dental care to a larger population of teens who need treatment, and will also allow CHA to coordinate assessment, cleanings, and fluoride treatments at Somerville High School or an alternate location.
- The Dental Lifeline Network (DLN), a national charitable organization based in Denver, Colorado, has been awarded $6,250 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 Massachusetts DDS 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 31 patients with $84,000 in donated treatment, further develop the network of volunteer dentists and dental labs in Massachusetts, and employ a program coordinator.
- The Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, on behalf of the ForsythKids Program, has been awarded $15,000 to continue providing a mobile dental program that seeks out patient populations who tend to have poorer oral health and more significant challenges accessing dental care. The funds will be used to provide teledentistry to safely reach more patients, as well as targeted in-person treatment for urgent dental conditions. The funds will also support oral health education to every child in the program via virtual classes.
- The Tufts University School of Dental Medicine's Service With A Smile project has been awarded $15,000 to help provide dental screenings and care to veterans in the Greater Boston area, primarily those who are experiencing homelessness. Service With A Smile provides oral health education, screenings, care, and/or referrals to dental homes.
- Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Berkshires in Great Barrington has been awarded $15,000 to help continue providing dental services to uninsured or underinsured, income-qualified residents in the Berkshires. The grant will also allow VIM to continue its concerted effort to attract dentists and dental hygienists into the Berkshires to help address capacity building in the region, which is severely lacking in dentists and related dental care.