Local health centers get COVID-19 emergency grants from Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

Submitted by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
Updated 7/7/2020 6:12 PM

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, has awarded $1 million through its emergency grant program to 20 Federally Qualified Health Centers working to improve the oral and overall health of Illinois residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Four of those health centers are in Addison, Aurora, Elgin and Waukegan.


These organizations provide vital services to underserved Illinoisans, including many who experience significant barriers to care. Emergency grants will allow these health centers to continue offering comprehensive health services to patients.

"These Federally Qualified Health Centers sorely need this funding to keep providing much-needed oral and overall health care to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Lora Vitek, executive director of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. "We are partnering with these centers as part of our mission to help our community get through this health crisis together."

The following four local organizations are each receiving a $50,000 emergency grant to support their work to improve oral and overall health for Illinois residents:

• The Greater Elgin Family Care Center will purchase lab coats for its care teams who provide COVID-19 tests. The grant will also help pay rental fees for Seneca Health Center & Dental Clinic, which provides pediatric and adult dentistry along with OB/GYN and pediatric health services.

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• VNA Health Care in Aurora will use its grant to pay a portion of the salaries for its dental team during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery period that is not covered by other emergency funding. The funding will help better coordinate comprehensive care for high-risk patients and will greatly improve their access to dental care.

• Hamdard Healthcare, which provides mental health services and primary care at two Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services sites in Addison and Rogers Park on the far north side of Chicago, will hire a part-time resident nurse to work at each site. This nurse will assess patients and prioritize those most at-risk for COVID-19 to be seen by a medical provider, including for testing when needed.

• Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center in Waukegan will develop a system to reduce and control airborne particles generated during dental services and purchase personal protective equipment for the dental team.

Sixteen additional health centers throughout the state also received a $50,000 emergency grant to support their work to improve oral and overall health for Illinois residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.


• Board of trustees of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, will use this grant to cover lease costs for three months for dental clinics in Quincy and Lincoln. The funding will also be used to pay for equipment needed to protect providers and treat patients including masks, goggles, face shields, hand sanitizer and dental supplies.

• The Central Counties Health Centers in Springfield plans to use the grant for general operations of its dental program and to implement safety precautions to reopen dental services for routine and preventive care. A portion of the funds will support the addition of an operatory in its emergency dental clinic at St. John's Hospital.

• The Chicago Family Health Center will expand its health services, including COVID-19 screenings and testing, and primary health care for patients without COVID-19 symptoms. Funding will also help the center serve Black communities on the south side of Chicago that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

• Community Health & Emergency Services Inc. in Carbondale will receive a grant to purchase protective equipment and hire a part-time dental assistant and part-time nurse to assist in its clinic.

• Community Health Care Inc. in Davenport, Iowa (serving Rock Island) will use its grant to help with additional costs resulting from COVID-19 relief efforts at its Illinois clinics. Those costs include salaries and protective equipment for medical professionals providing curbside screenings for COVID-19. Telehealth services will also be covered by the grant.

• Crusader Community Health has eight sites in the Rockford region and provides primary medical, dental and behavioral health care to the medically underserved in Rock River Valley. Grant funding will support costs related to telehealth, such as laptops and headsets for the computer and phone.

• Erie Family Health Centers in Chicago predominantly serve low-income and minority communities in the Chicago area. About 88% of patients receive Medicaid or are uninsured. This grant will help the centers' COVID-19 Care Continuity Project, which works to ensure that vulnerable communities have access to medical and dental services. Many of these patients serve as essential workers during the pandemic.

• Friend Family Health Center Inc. in Chicago provides primary and preventive health care services (medical, dental and behavioral health) on Chicago's South Side. The grant will support COVID-19 testing, while still meeting the primary and preventive care needs of patients and communities the center serves. The grant will also support the salaries of community health workers helping those in need.

• Heartland Alliance Health's grant funding will help with emergency health and wellness services for communities in Chicago most susceptible to COVID-19 including the elderly and homeless. These funds will support staffing expenses, medical supplies, personal protective equipment and clinical operations. It will also help pay for food, transit passes, gift cards and hygiene kits.

• Howard Brown Health in Chicago will use its grant to pay physician salaries and support its continued response to COVID-19. The money will help continue services to communities disproportionately impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

• Macoupin Community Health Centers in Carlinville will increase telehealth services for current patients at its Maple Street and Morgan Street clinics and expand services to underserved patients in and around Macoupin County. The grant will also help provide behavioral, dental and medical mobile health services to 15 rural counties in the central part of the state.

• Mile Square Health Center in Chicago plans to use its grant to provide food for patients who test positive or are awaiting test results for COVID-19, and their families. This will help pay for 2,000 catered box lunches and 2,000 food supply boxes. The remaining money will be used for distribution of the food and community engagement in the south and west sides of Chicago. Partners in the project include local food pantries and churches, along with volunteer graduate students from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and School of Public Health.

• Pillars Community Health in La Grange will improve its air quality system, including duct cleaning and enhancements. The grant will also help pay for office barriers, personal protective equipment and supplies, and other cleaning costs.

• PrimeCare Community Health Inc. will use the grant to pay for utilities and to cover part of the salaries for five registered nurses serving the Belmont Cragin, Dunning, Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Portage Park and West Town communities of Chicago. These areas have experienced significant shortages of primary care and dental providers. PrimeCare has six primary care/behavioral health sites, two dental centers and two medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinics.

• Promise Healthcare in Champaign will use the grant to help support staff key to its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used for mental health counseling, laboratory services, registration for its psychiatry program and to hire staff who are cross-trained in telehealth, psychiatry and in-person registration.

• SIHF Healthcare in Sauget will use the emergency grant to help pay the salaries of health care workers who serve more than 106,000 urban and rural poor individuals in southwestern Illinois. These workers provide care to at-risk individuals and ensure their access to care is uninterrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apply for second round grants

A second round of emergency grants is available.

Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation recently announced a $3 million grant program to help ensure Illinois children have continued access to vital oral health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to $100,000 will be available to Federal Qualified Health Centers and other public health clinics integrating oral health into a primary health care setting.

Applications for the new grant program will be accepted until July 31. To learn more and apply, visit ilchf.org/rfp-archive/.

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 by Delta Dental of Illinois, a nonprofit dental service corporation with a mission to improve overall health and well-being. The foundation is the 501(c) (3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $8 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state's residents. For additional information about Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, please see www.deltadentalil.com.


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