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Grant Recipients

Select the grant year from the following list -- 2015 2014 2013

2015 Grantees

$25,000.00 – Text2Floss: An Innovative Technology to Improve Oral Health
Tony Hashemian, DDS, Associate Dean for Global Oral Health

A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH), has created Text2Floss, a program to increase optimal oral health literacy and improve oral health behaviors through mobile phone technology. Free to the public, the Text2Floss program consists of an interactive text messaging service that helps develop preventive oral hygiene habits by providing reminders to floss, brush, and rinse along with age-related tips for optimal oral health, a website, and an iOS mobile application (app). ASDOH proposes to promote Text2Floss in Arizona’s safety-net dental clinics (e.g., community health centers), targeting 5000 pregnant mothers, children, and youth through 18 years of age. Mobile app is available at the App Store on your mobile device or at

$24,787.00 – PITCH (Prenatal/pediatric Interventions To prevent Caries and improve oral Health)
Jessica Yanow, MPH, Director of Women’s Health Programs and Grant Administration

The PITCH Program educates Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQCHC) medical and dental providers and staff on the importance of oral health care during pregnancy, anticipatory guidance, and early initiation of routine preventive pediatric dental care. Activities include on-site training for medical and dental providers and staff and the creation of a best practice toolkit that providers can use as a resource in providing oral health services to pregnant women and children under the age of 2. This project targets all 19 FQHCs and 2 FQHC Look-Alikes in the state, which include over 148 sites and cover 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties.

$15,000.00 – Children’s Dental Clinic
Joan Nolan, Grants Manager

At the I.G. Homes Branch of the Boys and Girls Club in South Phoenix, the Dental Clinic cares for 900 children. The clinic provides a total of 2,000 diagnostic exams and x-rays, and 4,000 preventive services including cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, as needed. All patients and their parents receive instruction in proper brushing and flossing and guidance about nutrition and the avoidance of tobacco products to maintain a healthy mouth and teeth. Patients and their family members also receive dental supplies to take home to help practice good oral hygiene.

$10,140.00 – Summer of Smiles
Paul LaVoie, Resource Development Director

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River will hold a “Summer of Smiles” program during the 2015 Summer Day Camp. This collaborative program partners with “Just 4 Kids” Dentistry in Bullhead City to provide 48 Boys & Girls Club members and 48 Southwest Behavioral Health Services clients covered by AHCCCS to receive comprehensive oral exams, x-rays, prophylaxis and application of sealants over a two-day period during 2015 Summer Day Camp. All participants range in age of 6-17 and are considered underinsured with regard to dental coverage. Additionally, each child benefits from “Crest Cavity-Free Zone” instructional program during the camp.

$15,000.00 – Program: The Parsons Center for Pediatric Dentistry at Murphy School District
Dr. Kris Volcheck, DDS, MBA, Executive Director of Dental Programs

The Parsons Center is the dental home for over 2,100 children in the Murphy School District in South Phoenix. The Parsons Center has increased capacity due to recent renovation, which allows it to expand into the neighboring Isaac Elementary School District. The center targets children ages 0 – 14 years old. Funding partially provides salary for Parsons Center’s registered dental hygienist, who provides semi-annual cleanings, fluoride varnishes, age-appropriate dental sealants, and instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques to 4,000 children during the grant period.

$15,000.00 – School Outreach Program
Jennie Miller, Grants and Research Manager

Desert Mission’s Children’s Dental Clinic will expand the School Outreach Program in 2015. A dental hygienist provides oral health education and screenings for urgent dental needs to 10,000 elementary and middle school children in the Washington Elementary, Osborne, and Deer Valley School Districts. In addition, the funding helps support a new unique incentive program to encourage recall exam visits by providing families a voucher for food boxes at Desert Mission Food Bank when they return for the second visit.

$6,100.00 – Children’s Dental Clinic
Laurel Vetsch, Grants Manager

Dignity Health Foundation’s Children’s Dental Clinic currently offers children ages 0-5 oral health screening and fluoride varnish applications through their Early Childhood Oral Health Program. Funding from the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation will expand the ability to provide these services to children ages 6 through 18 years at community locations throughout the Phoenix East Valley. Screenings and fluoride applications will be provided at WIC offices, immunization clinics, family resource centers, health fairs and community events in Tempe, Chandler, Guadalupe, Mesa, Gilbert and Queen Creek. It is expected that the funding will allow 400 children ages 6-18 to be seen who normally would not qualify for these services due to their age.

$15,000.00 – Learning with a Smile
DeeAnn Brewer, Grants Manager

Esperanca, an organization which provides community health and development projects for some of the world’s poorest citizens, is headquartered in Phoenix and will expand preventive oral health education to 2,500 children in the Learning with a Smile program. This program provides age- and culturally-appropriate oral health education, delivered in English and Spanish, in Head Start/Early Head Start centers, elementary schools, free/low-cost dental clinics, and community settings. In addition, Esperanca is looking to strengthen established relationships and forge new partnerships with school districts, Head Start programs, and community clinics in the I-17 corridor from Buckeye to Peoria to reach more families who face the greatest barriers to access oral health resources.

$10,000.00 – Dental Disease Prevention Among Children with Chronic and Disabling Health Conditions
Sheila Schill, Director, Children’s Health Center

Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) will continue their electric toothbrush program for children who receive care through Children’s Rehabilitative Services, a program of FMC’s Children’s Health Center. These children suffer from chronic or disabling conditions inhibiting their ability to use a regular toothbrush. Many of these children come from low-income families and cannot afford to invest in an electric toothbrush. FMC case managers provide instruction to families on proper use of the brushes, and education on preventive oral health practices. This project will benefit nearly 500 patients served by the CRS program.

$20,000.00 – Isaac Oral Health Initiative
Linda Luft, Community Health Program Director

Golden Gate Community Center, a program of the Wesley Community Center, will partner with Isaac School District to provide oral health education to K-8th grade students in the District. This initiative provides education and clinical care to the 7,449 students at 11 schools in the District. The Isaac Oral Health Initiative will provide clinical services through mobile units with AZ Tooth Dr. for Kids and portable units through the CASS Murphy Dental Clinic. Promotoras or bilingual health educators will work with students providing 30-40 minute interactive school presentations where children learn about a healthy tooth diet; proper teeth brushing and flossing, why they should go to the dentist and what to expect.

$7,650.00 – Children’s Dental Health Awareness Program in Apache County
Sharon Ashby-Robinson, President, CEO

Homeless Outreach Programs, Inc. provides hygiene and other health services to homeless and financially disadvantaged adults and children throughout the state of Arizona. The Children’s Dental Health Awareness Program provide supplies and oral health education to 1300 students and preschoolers through sixth grade in five rural schools in Apache County: Alpine, Vernon, St. Johns, Concho and Round Valley. Children receive an oral health education presentation at school, along with a craft project to reinforce the importance of teeth brushing and visiting a dentist, plus dental supplies to take home.

$15,000.00 – YMCA Dental Clinic
April Lewallen, Executive Director

This grant enables the Legacy Foundation Chris-Town WMCA Dental Clinic to expand its capacity to serve youth while communicating effectively with schools, local agencies and parents seeking preventive dental care. The momentum created by Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation support helps the Y continue serving children and youth, and provides additional oral health education materials and learning opportunities. All of this increases the program’s community impact. Located in a high-need area of the city, this clinic free dental clinic, in many cases, is the only dental facility available to these children and becomes their dental home. The clinic’s increased capacity directly serves uninsured and underserved children. Funding will be utilized to support clinic operations specifically replacement and repair of equipment. It will also be used to increase outreach to local schools and agencies unaware of these existing preventive services in the neighborhood.

$10,000.00 – Dental Program at Maggie’s Place
Laura Magruder, Executive Director

Maggie’s Place has a partnership with Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) Dental Clinic for the homeless. Through this partnership, Maggie’s Place guests (pregnant and parenting women in need) receive preventive dental care in a facility specializing in the needs of homeless people. This grant supports more services to alumni mothers, that is, mothers who have lived in one of the homes and receive ongoing support in the form of trainings, scholarships, bus passes, emergency expenses, and emotional support. Dental care increases a mother’s health, self-confidence, and quality of life. The goal is also for the mothers to model and pass along healthy oral health habits to their children. This investment in a mother’s health impacts not only herself and her children, but future children and often other relatives and partners.

$15,000.00 – Preventive Dental Care for Pregnant Women
Becky Holton, Director of Development

This brand new program integrates dental services into medical care in the obstetrics and gynecology unit at the community health center. Serving pregnant mothers in their third trimester the mothers are uninsured and may not have a medical or dental home prior to their pregnancy. This is a wonderful window of opportunity when moms are most open, interested and receptive to information regarding their soon-to-be born child and want to be their healthiest and most prepared. To assist with long term dental health for themselves and their babies, the physicians will provide in office education for all mothers and case coordinators will follow-up with education, dental supplies and scheduling assistance for baby’s first dental appointment post-partum.

$20,000.00 – Screenings and Cleanings for Moms to Be
Matt Jewett, Grants Manager

Mountain Park Health Center (MPHC) is serving 166 low-income pregnant women (under 200% of the federal poverty level) receiving prenatal care from a Women’s Health Care provider. While MPHC recognizes the importance of oral screenings and cleanings for all 4,400 prenatal patients seen each year, the dental department has not been able to meet the demand for services, especially services for adults, who receive only emergency dental benefits coverage through AHCCCS. This grant focuses on combating the moderate to severe periodontal disease seen in 70% of the prenatal patients. Because of periodontal disease, this group is at higher risk for preterm and low weight births. An oral examination and assessment, an oral cancer screening, cleanings, scaling (if needed) radiographs, guidance on at home dental care, education on infant oral care will round out the dental services package each mother-to-be will be offered.

$20,000.00 – Native Kids Dental Health Improvement Program
Susan Levy, Communications Coordinator

NATIVE HEALTH (NH) received a second year of funding for the Native Kids Dental Health Improvement Project reaching an estimated 2,500 American Indian and other underserved children and caregivers in community settings. The project provides screenings and fluoride treatments to 2,000 American Indian/underserved children each year. Grant funds employ a part-time Child Dental Health Educator for the 43 events scheduled in 2015. The children and their families are currently enrolled in a variety of existing programs including a home visiting program, a parenting skills program, Health Start and the Women Infant Children (WIC) Nutrition program. The Child Dental Health Educator coordinates and participates in several outreach events monthly; providing education and fluoride treatments at health fairs, pow-wows and other community events.

$43,560.00 over two years – Navajo-Apache-Gila Oral Health Coalition
Marty Herring, Health Director

There is power in numbers and a greater voice. This grant continues funding the Navajo-Apache-Gila (NAG) Oral Health Coalition. Communications, coordination and engagement of members dedicated to improving oral health are at the heart of a successful coalition. A coordinator responsible for these activities is critical and funded by this grant at a part-time level. This coalition has been active, involved, and growing. Just a few of their results include cross agency collaborations along the Mogollon Rim, expansion of services and programs, continuing education featuring experts and discussion on recent research in oral health about the local communities. Leadership by the Navajo County Department of Public Health has been instrumental to the spirit of cooperation, partnership and expansion of this effort.

$11,000.00 – Children’s Dental Health Awareness Program
Donna Harris, Co-Coordinator

Not only will the Ponderosa Lions Foundation expenses be covered by this grant, but the Club will assist other Lions Clubs in establishing their own oral health programs. Presentations are created and tailored for various age groups. For example, the Head Start play group parents are taught the importance of good oral health and eating practices. A tooth timer is presented to each child enrolled in kindergarten or higher grades. An oral health-related book is given to each child through third grade. Display boards with a message to “Rethink Your Drink” for presentations are used for older children and adults. Children are shown how to read sugar content on the drink labels and convert grams into teaspoons.

$25,000.00 – Sid Davis Memorial Dental Clinic
Dr. Dale Hallberg, Dental Director

The new Poore Medical Clinic/Sid Davis Memorial Dental Clinic provides preventive services such as dental examination, radiographs, cleanings, sealants, scaling and root planing, fluoride application where indicated and oral health instruction. Licensed dentists, hygienists and dental assistants, as well NAU dental hygiene students, are all donating their time. The equipment purchased with this funding allows the Clinic to more effectively link the needs of the people served. Digital sensors will be used to take radiographs images on children while reducing radiation exposure, hand instruments clean teeth, slow speed angle hand pieces and brushes clean teeth prior to sealant application. The clinic is developing an "Adopt A Supply" program where private dental offices can help by signing up to regularly donate one or several dental supply items.

$6,000.00 over three years – Kids Bright and Healthy
Ashley Wood, Community Impact Director

The Kids Bright and Healthy program, which has been in existence for eight years, is a program established by River Cities United Way (RCUW) to serve children enrolled in grades K-12 with assistance accessing basic medical, dental and vision needs. We found that with over 43 local partner programs that dental service was a need that wasn’t being covered or met by any other local agency. The Kids Bright and Healthy Program gives low income children an opportunity to have an exam, cleaning, dental sealants and fluoride treatment. Grant funds cover discounted rates charged by dental professionals for these services. The children all reside in La Paz or Mohave Counties.

$15,000.00 – Children’s Dental Clinic
Janice Ertl, Clinic Director

The Virginia G. Piper Medical and Dental Clinic at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers comprehensive services for low-income families. This long-standing, integrated facility needs to replace some aging dental equipment in order to better serve their clients. A new curing light and Cavitron will be purchased. Once the equipment is purchased, remaining funds will be used for preventive procedures, including sealants and fluoride, for uninsured, low-income children seen in the dental clinic. This prevention treatment serves as the gateway for the children to later receive comprehensive restorative treatment. The Dental Director also supports a volunteer-based program at the Legacy YMCA Dental Clinic, where many area dental professionals donate their time to care for area students.

$4,250.00 – Summer of Smiles
Chaz Martinez, Communications and Events Liaison

“Summer of Smiles” is a collaboration of Southwest Behavioral Health Services (SBHS) and the Boys & Girls Club of the Colorado River with “Just 4 Kids” Dentistry of Bullhead City as the provider. The program serves 48 children from SBHS along with 48 children from the Boys & Girls Club. All children will receive exams, x-rays, cleanings and dental sealants over a two-day period in June of 2015. Included in the “Summer of Smiles” program Southwest Behavioral Health Services’ clients will attend the Boys & Girls Club’s “Crest Cavity-Free Zone” program. This “Summer of Smiles” program is a start to reverse the cycle of poor oral health and result in a new attitude for prevention, treatment and initiate the self-esteem associated with good dental hygiene and a great smile.

$15,000.00 – Oral Health Program for Children and Families
Lisa Olivas-Cook, Grants Manager

Southwest Human Development is using the grant to further integrate oral health programs for low-income children and families participating into the Healthy Families and Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Targeting children ages birth to five-years old, these programs have a long-term relationship with high-risk families and families with lower incomes, and work closely with them over time to establish good health and dental practices. The barriers of accessing dental care and services can be reduced through the home visitor program. Participants receive dental hygiene instruction, education and ongoing dental supplies for their entire family. The funds are divided between the two programs. Additionally, an unanticipated positive outcome has been the benefit of training the home visitors on the importance of oral health.

$20,000.00 – Dental Prevention Clinics
Jane Bakos, CEO

St. Elizabeth’s Health Center (SEHC) is using the grant funds to enhance three groups. The first goal is to hold twice monthly “prevention clinics”, one at the main facility and one at Pio Decimo Center. Children and youth up to 18-years old receive a dental screening, fluoride varnish application, education on the importance of preventive oral care, and referral to the Dental Clinic for follow-up care. During the “prevention clinic”, both parents and youth receive education on the importance of oral health. Secondly, uninsured, low-income pregnant mothers receiving obstetrics services at St. Elizabeth’s receive an oral evaluation, x-rays, and dental cleaning during their pregnancy. Finally, trainings will be held with Primary Care providers and support staff to educate them on this program and on how they can educate their young patients on the importance of preventive dental care.

$15,000.00 – Smile Mobile Oral Health Screening Program
Michelov Rau, Grants Writer

Sun Life’s Smile Mobile Clinic serves uninsured, low-income children throughout Pinal County, including communities where Sun Life operates a health center, with a special focus on youth living in mostly rural, remote areas, federally designated as having a dental professional shortage, such as San Manuel, Superior, Florence, San Manuel, Kearny and Stanfield. Sun Life has established agreements with the Casa Grande school district, the Maricopa Unified school district and the School for Children of Migrant Farm workers in Stanfield to provide oral health screening and fluoride varnish application services for children ages six and older. Funding pays a per-diem dental hygienist, supplies/materials and mileage. Sun Life anticipates serving an estimated 600 children in Pinal County.

$50,000.00 over two years – Mobile Health Program
Susan Hadley, Medical Director

The Mobile Health Program at the University of Arizona reaches an underserved group of schools without access to dental care. By going directly to the schools, the mobile program removes the barriers of transportation, parents with multiple jobs, the difficulties of finding low-cost services and setting appointments. Schools located in six zip codes within Pima County are the focus, but pregnant mothers and their families enrolled in the Mobile Health OB Program and the clients at Teen Pregnancy Services will also be included. Exams, cleanings, topical fluoride, and referrals to local dental centers are essential services for these Head Start programs, pregnant women and teens.

$13,407.00 – Healthy Families Program
Susan Lacher, Program Manager

Verde Valley Medical Center located in Yavapai County has a Healthy Families home visiting program for families with a newborn child. This grant enhances the program by funding dental education and training for the home visitors who touch the lives of 40- 46 high-risk families during the first year of their baby’s life. This program teaches new parents about a wide range of child-specific topics like sleeping, parenting, nutrition, child safety and now oral health. The project aims to improve the oral health of the parents, baby and their siblings through one-to-one education and repeat instruction to give these infants a healthy start by the time their first tooth comes in.

2014 Continuing Grants

$12,154.00 over three years – Told First Hand
Candice Koenker, Interim Program Manager

Told First Hand provides tobacco education to youth in Coconino County using speaker; Jason Marsee, who makes presentations to school children about his experience of watching his older teenage brother die from oral cancer, related to his use of chew tobacco. The program projected to conduct 31 presentations, reaching approximately 1,000 youth in Northern Arizona each year. As of January, 19 presentations have taken place, reaching 781 youth. With 10 more presentations scheduled through February, the program expects to reach the intended goals for the year.

$15,000.00 over three years – El Rio Early Childhood Caries Prevention Program
Candace Clausen, Dental Clinic Manager

The second year of this three year grant is about educating thousands of families about oral healthcare and how Early Childhood Caries can be reduced. At-risk children receive an oral examination, fee fluoride varnish treatment and access to follow-up dental care. In the first year, El Rio exceeded their goal of serving 2300 and served 2386 children with fluoride varnish treatments and bilingual education. They doubled the number of pregnant mothers served to 54 pregnant mothers, not 25. In addition, 325 families were reached through seven community events in Pima County.

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