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MDS Foundation Establishes COVID-19 Recovery Fund

April 21, 2020  The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation is establishing a Recovery Fund to assist dentists across the Commonwealth who are facing severe financial impacts associated with COVID-19-related closures. In a survey of more than 5,000 dentists across Massachusetts, responses indicate that the majority of these small business health care providers will need $150,000 to $300,000 in financial relief in order to reopen their doors. The survey was taken in the early days of the COVID-19 shutdown, making it likely that this estimate of need will rise. Additionally, the lack of availability of dental services for citizens of Massachusetts during this pandemic has led to a backlog of needed care for these individuals that is affecting both their oral and overall health.

Piggy bank with a face mask over its nose and mouthThe MDS Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund is hoping to raise $3 million to support the continued viability of community dental offices and dentists due to the increased need for services across the Commonwealth after the extended COVID-19 shutdown. The Foundation, which has set aside $300,000 to launch the fund, is in the process of developing criteria to determine the most meaningful ways to distribute these funds.

“Every dental practice in the Commonwealth urgently needs a range of financial support to make it through the end of this pandemic,” said Robert Lewando, DDS, Chair of the MDS Foundation. “We’re working with and calling upon all dental stakeholders to make sure communities don’t lose access to the availability of critical oral health care services when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed and offices are allowed to reopen to provide necessary care.” 

The MDS Foundation COVID-19 Recovery Fund is open to public donations at massdental.org/Foundation.

Dental health care providers, which often are small businesses with close connections to the communities they serve in every corner of the Commonwealth, were among the first to close their doors in order to assist in flattening the curve of COVID-19 across the state. Due to those early closures, dental offices are among the small businesses most hurting and in need of financial relief. The MDS was the first in the nation to issue guidance to dentists to close offices, a painful but practical decision, to protect patients, dental care providers, and communities.