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The MDS Foundation Awards Grants to Oral Health Programs

February 3, 2021 – The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation has awarded a total of more than $66,000 in “Expanding Access to Dental Care” grants to five 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) 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.
  • 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 Berkshire area to help address capacity building in the region, which is severely lacking in dentists and related dental care.

“After an especially difficult year, we are incredibly grateful for all of the MDS Foundation donors who made it possible for us to help support these five worthy organizations,” said MDS Foundation Chair Dr. Robert Lewando. “Everyone deserves access to oral health care, and it is because of initiatives such as these that so many additional Massachusetts residents will benefit from improved and expanded services.”

Visit massdental.org/grant-recipients to learn more about the Foundation’s grant recipients.