Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation Awards $1.5 Million to Improve Access to Care through Innovative Oral Health Workforce Strategies
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January 26th, 2016

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation Awards $1.5 Million to Improve Access to Care through Innovative Oral Health Workforce Strategies

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Jan. 26, 2016) - Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation awarded seven multi-year grants totaling $1.5 million to programming that supports Delta Dental of Minnesota’s mission of improving health though oral health in Minnesota.

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation awarded the grants through a statewide, open request for proposals. The purpose of this funding initiative is to develop oral health workforce solutions that promote good oral health among populations experiencing health disparities. Together the funded projects will offer new ways to deliver care, with diverse access points and a collaborative, expanded workforce that is prepared to address the oral health needs of underserved communities in metro and greater Minnesota.

A complete list of the grants are below:

American Indian Cancer Foundation, Northern & Metro Minnesota, $175,000 Engage nine tribal dental clinics and their providers to improve oral cancer screening and tobacco cessation with American Indians in Minnesota.

Children’s Dental Services, Statewide, $300,000 Provide oral health education and access to dental care at Women, Infant and Children (WIC) sites in 12 counties throughout urban and greater Minnesota with an advanced dental therapist, registered dental hygienst, and community health worker. Initiative Foundation, Central Minnesota, $200,000 Increase the ethnic and racial diversity of students pursuing dental assisting careers at Central Lakes and St. Cloud Technical & Community College.

Normandale Community College Foundation, Statewide, $200,000 Replicate a dual admissions and enrollment plan in Dental Hygiene that allows students to simultaneously receive an associate and bachelor's degree (AS/BS) in other two-year dental hygiene programs within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.

North Shore Health Care Foundation, Northeast Minnesota, $150,000 Achieve good oral health of children from before birth to 5 years of age through the combined efforts of community health professionals and the dental team in Cook County, the Grand Portage Reservation and out-of-county dentists.

Open Door Health Center, Southwest Minnesota, $200,000 Increase access to mobile dental care for children in Worthington and Marshall, Minnesota with school outreach and the support of a Spanish speaking community health worker.

University of Minnesota Foundation, Minneapolis/Hennepin County, $275,000 Improve overall health and increase access to oral health care for underserved patients by integrating a dental therapist in the primary care team at the University of Minnesota Health Nurse Practitioners Clinic.

For more information on the grantees, Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation or Delta Dental of Minnesota, visit

About the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation:

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation is designed to support Delta Dental of Minnesota's mission of improving the oral health of the people in Minnesota and advancing the science and art of oral health in Minnesota. The Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation supports initiatives that promote access to oral health and, in turn, improve the overall health and vitality of our community.

About Delta Dental of Minnesota:

Delta Dental of Minnesota is an independent, tax-exempt, nonprofit health services company that serves the oral health needs of Minnesota and North Dakota residents. Since 1969, Delta Dental of Minnesota has accomplished this mission by providing the best access across the state to oral health care through affordable dental plans. Delta Dental is an authorized licensee of the Delta Dental Plans Association of Oak Brook, Illinois. To learn more, go to