20,000 Twin Cities-area children and pregnant women in need to receive dental care thanks to $350,000 grant
MINNEAPOLIS — In 2012, well-respected North Minneapolis dentist Dr. John Williams, who spent decades serving African American families in local neighborhoods, unexpectedly passed away. In an effort to continue Dr. Williams’ important work for his patients, Children’s Dental Services (CDS) created the Dr. John Williams Specialty Clinic, providing critically needed dental services to low-income families in North Minneapolis. Today, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation announced a $350,000 grant to help the clinic expand – serving an additional 20,000 people in need across the Twin Cities region.
This $350,000 grant, which builds on $200,000 the foundation gave CDS in 2013 to create the clinic, will allow CDS to hire an additional dentist, construct two more patient rooms, serve 2,000 more lowincome and special needs children and pregnant women at the clinic, and provide screenings and followups to approximately 18,000 school-age children across the Twin Cities region. Overall, the foundation has given more than $2 million to CDS efforts. “The most effective way to ensure access to critically needed dental care by low-income Minnesotans is to establish services where they live and work,” said Sarah Wovcha, Executive Director of CDS.
“This targeted investment not only expands access to dental care, but simultaneously strengthens community infrastructure by adding employment opportunities, developing vibrant buildings and creating overall community vitality that strengthens the health and wellness of people and their neighborhoods.”
Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation focuses on choosing grant recipients that show innovative strategies to expand oral health access for Minnesota’s underserved populations; demonstrate significant opportunity to promote and expand preventive and education services; and show an ability to measure results.
“Children’s Dental Services has, time after time, proven itself to be an effective and dedicated organization, furthering the oral health care of Minnesotans statewide who otherwise are unable to attain it,” said Joe Lally, Executive Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. “We are grateful for organizations like CDS in our community, and pleased for the opportunity to support their work in an impactful way.”
About Children’s Dental Services
Children's Dental Services (CDS) is an independent, nonprofit agency that has provided dental services to low-income youth since 1919. During its history, CDS has pioneered three major concepts for making affordable dental care accessible to children: 1) CDS was the first dental program in the nation to provide on-site dental care to Head Start children, 2) CDS provides on-site and portable dental care to children and pregnant women in schools and community settings, thereby eliminating transportation barriers, and 3) CDS is a leader in utilizing workforce solutions to improve access to dental care for lowincome people. Today CDS provides a full range of culturally focused dental services, and is Minnesota's primary school-based and largest single provider of dental services to children from families with lowincome.
About Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation:
In 2009, Delta Dental of Minnesota’s parent sold a company and used 100 percent of the proceeds to establish and fund Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation supports Delta Dental of Minnesota’s mission of improving the health of Minnesotans through oral health. Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation works to expand access to dental care for Minnesota’s underserved populations across the state by primarily investing in programs and organizations that provide dental care to people in need. Since 2011, the foundation has invested more than $21 million in grants to nearly 70 programs and organizations that provide care and promote oral health.