5 DuPage, Kane, Lake county organizations receive grants to improve health care

Updated 11/22/2021 8:30 AM

Five DuPage, Kane and Lake county health care organizations were recently awarded six grants through programs that together provided nearly $8 million statewide this year to help improve the oral and overall health of Illinoisans.

The Health Equity Grant and COVID-19 Renewal Grant programs are funded by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation. The programs aim to improve health care across the state - especially among children - through education and access to quality care.


The five DuPage, Kane and Lake county recipients were:

DuPage County Health Department, Wheaton, $119, 648 COVID-19 Renewal Grant. The DuPage County Health Department will use its grant to provide personal protective equipment to dental staff at its dental and mobile Smile Squad. The Health Department will also hire personnel - a driver, dentist and dental assistant - to provide oral health services on the Smile Squad in response to increased staffing needs.

Greater Family Health, Elgin, $133,000 COVID-19 Renewal Grant. Greater Family Health (formerly Greater Elgin Family Care Center) will use the grant to support its children's oral health program. Funding will help provide preventive and restorative dentistry to thousands of children annually.

Well Child Center, Elgin, $132,940 COVID-19 Renewal Grant and $198,892 Health Equity Grant. The Well Child Center provides health and social services for families and children who are uninsured in Kane County. The COVID-19 Renewal Grant will help the Center fund comprehensive oral healthcare services and mitigate lost revenue as a result of COVID-19. With the Health Equity Grant, the Well Child Center is partnering with VNA Health to integrate oral health care with mental and behavioral health services at its Pediatric Dental Clinic. The Health Equity Grant will also be used to increase oral health care services provided at WCC's Pediatric Dental Clinic through new referral partnerships with other nonprofits who serve under-resourced children in Kane County.

VNA Health Care, Aurora, $133,000 COVID-19 Renewal Grant. VNA Health Care was founded in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic to provide health care services to those in need. The grant will be used to help with the organizational budget and ensure important dental services are provided to children and their families who are at increased risk of health disparities.

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Lake County Health Department and Community Center, Waukegan, $200,000 Health Equity Grant. The Lake County Health Department and Community Center will use its grant to provide oral health education and connect pediatric patients to dental services in under-resourced communities in Lake County. The Health Department plans to use trained community health workers and case managers supervised by a dental hygienist to ensure children receive the dental care they need.

"These programs make a difference in countless lives by helping Illinois children and families get the health and dental care they need," said Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. "Beyond improving access to care, these grants also provide education, which is key to setting the foundation for a lifetime of good health."

Bob Egan, senior program officer of Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation, said the grants aim to break down barriers preventing children from accessing quality, comprehensive oral health services.

"Our vision is for every child in Illinois to grow up healthy,"Egan said. "Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation is proud to partner with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation in this important work of eliminating health disparities across the state."


Details about the two foundations' 2021 Health Equity Grants and COVID-19 Renewal Grants are below:

Health Equity Grants: The two foundations awarded $4 million to 19 Illinois organizations through the new COVID-19 Utilization: Decreasing Oral Health Disparities Health Equity Grant Program to assist organizations working to improve the oral and overall health of children impacted by poverty and COVID-19. Each foundation contributed $2 million for this initiative. Grants of up to $200,000 were awarded for use within two years. View a full list of recipients at https://www.deltadentalil.com/health-equity.

COVID-19 Renewal Grants: More than $3.5 million was awarded by the two foundations to 35 Illinois health centers and clinics that deliver vital health care services to residents who may face obstacles to care. The grants, which were renewed in 2021 to organizations that received them in 2020, aim to offset costs associated with reopening and continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to $100,000 were available to Illinois health centers and clinics that integrate oral health into a primary health care setting. View a full list of recipients at https://www.deltadentalil.com/covid-19-renewal-grants.

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 and is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois, with a specific focus on children. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $15 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state's residents. For additional information, visit deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.

About Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: Every child in Illinois grows up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grant making on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. For more information, go to ilchf.org. To date, the Foundation has committed over $111 million to help achieve its vision.


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