Delta Dental of Arizona CEO Allan Allford NOAH CEO Wendy Armendariz HonorHealth Foundation President and CEO Jared Langkilde

Delta Dental of Arizona CEO Allan Allford, left, NOAH CEO Wendy Armendariz and HonorHealth Foundation President and CEO Jared Langkilde at NOAH Heuser Pediatric Dental.

Glendale’s Delta Dental of Arizona, through its foundation, selected 30 nonprofits across the state as recipients of grants and dental supplies to improve the oral health of Arizonans. 

These funds, $774,322, were awarded to support projects and services promoting good oral health practices and increasing access to dental care among underserved children, pregnant women and seniors throughout 2021. Grants were awarded via two programs: Community Grants and IMPACT Grants. Community grants ranging from $2,500 to $30,000, as well as dental supplies as needed, were presented to 26 Arizona nonprofits, including:

 

• A New Leaf.

• Arizona Dental Foundation.

• Arizona Oral Health Coalition.

• Barrow Neurological Foundation.

• Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

• Dental Lifeline Network.

• Desert Senita Dental Clinic.

• Dignity Health Dental Clinic.

• Esperança.

• Great Arizona Puppet Theater.

• HNC Living Foundation.

• Marana Community Health Center.

• Mountain Park Health Center Tempe Clinic.

• National Kidney Foundation.

• North Country Health Care.

• Phoenix Rescue Mission.

• Prescott Area Shelter Services.

• River Cities United Way.

• Senior Citizens of Patagonia.

• Southern Arizona Oral Health Coalition.

• Southwest Human Development.

• Sunset Health.

• Tohono O’odham Community Health Center.

• United Community Health Center.

• UofA Mobile Unit.

• Verde Valley Medical Center.

 

In 2020, Delta Dental launched its IMPACT Grant program. Through it, four organizations earned two-year grants totaling $100,000 each, with $50,000 awarded in 2020 and $50,000 awarded in 2021. Nonprofits that were invited to apply for these grants provide oral health services and education to over 650 children, pregnant women or seniors and have a proven record of fiscal and reporting responsibility. 

Tooth BUDDS is an IMPACT recipient. Tooth BUDDS is a group of affiliated practice dental hygienists who serve the children of Graham and Greenlee counties by providing dental screenings, dental cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnish, Silver Diamine Fluoride applications and restorations free of charge at their school. 

Tooth BUDDS utilizes teledentistry to communicate the needs of these students with their affiliated dentist to expedite the restorative procedures necessary for complete oral health care.

Also an IMPACT recipient is the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix Dental Clinic. It provides preventive and restorative oral health services to at nearly 900 low-income, uninsured youth in metro Phoenix. The program directly reduces the students’ school absenteeism due to dental pain.

Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) Smiles for Kids is an IMPACT recipient. The school-based, oral health education and screening program is provided to children in schools and community events in Title I schools in the Scottsdale Public and Paradise Valley school districts. This program promotes the importance of oral health for school readiness and effective learning.

El Rio Health Center’s Pediatric Dental Integration Program, which expands direct screening, varnish and oral health education by embedding dental hygiene teams in five El Rio Health locations throughout Tucson, is an IMPACT recipient, too.  

Beyond this, Delta Dental of Arizona has also partnered with Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) and HonorHealth Foundation to fund expert emergency dental treatment at NOAH for uninsured patients who visit HonorHealth emergency departments with dental issues. The new Delta Dental of Arizona Dental Connect program is made possible by a $525,000 donation by Delta Dental.

“Patients experiencing a dental crisis usually come to the emergency department as a last resort, and with at least one — and usually more — dental issues,” said Wendy Armendariz, NOAH chief executive officer. 

“These issues can be causing severe pain, impacting other areas of a patient’s health, and probably interfering with their day-to-day life. Through Dental Connect, when an uninsured patient checks into an HonorHealth emergency room and presents with a dental emergency, facial pain or other related oral health issue, he or she will be referred to the appropriate NOAH dental staff member for care.”

According to Armendariz, NOAH will then set a virtual triage appointment for the patient with a dentist, typically within 24 hours. After the triage appointment, NOAH will schedule the appointment at one of its four local dental clinics (Cholla Health Center, Desert Mission Health Center, Palomino Health Center and Heuser Pediatric Dental) to begin the emergency dental work. Because transportation can keep some people from receiving the care they need, DDAZ will also fund transportation costs for Dental Connect patients.

“As a nonprofit, community-based hospital system, HonorHealth depends upon donations from companies and individuals. This gift not only helps us provide exceptional care, it drives health care transformation by bringing services together to help people when they need it most,” said Jared Langkilde, president and chief executive officer of the HonorHealth Foundation. 

“Delta Dental of Arizona has been a generous donor and partner to HonorHealth Foundation. The impact of their gift touches the very heart of our mission to advance health and well-being for all.”

For more, visit deltadentalaz.com.