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Foundation Awards $50,000 in New Grants; Highest Total Ever

The MDA Foundation awarded a record $50,000 in access-to-care grants in 2015 to seven charitable organizations across the state. The recipients include:

St. Vincent de Paul Society in Detroit ($15,000)

The society will use this grant to convert its clinic to use electronic medical records and X-rays. The grant will help improve efficiency and allow the clinic to see about 1,000 more patients per year with complete histories, as well as easily transferrable patient records.

University of Detroit Mercy American Student Dental Association ($5,000)

This grant will support the purchase of supplies for students to add one day to their clinic outreach at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. With these additional supplies, students will work an additional Saturday during the month in the clinic, serving about 2,000 patients per year.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum ($5,000)

This grant will help build a custom children’s dental office exhibit. The exhibit will debut in February 2016 during National Children’s Dental Health Month and will replicate a dental office, complete with a child-appropriate exam room, dental chair, and X-ray machine. The goal: Reducing anxiety about going to the dentist. The exhibit will be open to the public for the next five years, with an estimated 100,000 children expected to visit.

Muskegon Community Health ($10,000)

This $50,000 grant ($10,000/year for five years) will be used to market and expand Muskegon Community Health’s program to form a reliable alternative to emergency room visits for 500 new patients. Through partnerships with local hospitals, dentists and non-profit organizations, patients are referred from emergency rooms to Muskegon Community Health dentists. Patients receive all dental care at no cost while they “pay it forward” through volunteer work at partner non-prof t organizations — a “triple win” situation for all those involved. Exchanging volunteer service for dental care gives those without means to pay access to services, increases their perceived value as an individual, and decreases pain from untreated dental disease. At full capacity, the project will produce an output value in dental services, volunteer hours and oversight of close to $200,000; representing a 200 percent return on investment.

University of Michigan Regents Dental Center ($5,000)

The University of Michigan Regents/Community Dental Center (CDC) in collaboration with Hope Clinic will use the grant of $5,000 to screen, treat and provide complete dentures to a selection of highest need patients located in Washtenaw County. The program will receive referral patients from Hope Clinic, establish a dental home at the CDC for each patient, monitor the progress of the patients for quality of life over the course of five years, and provide training and research opportunities for University of Michigan students.

Community Healthcare Connection of Battle Creek ($5,000)

CHC will use its grant to offset costs of providing dental care for one year to local patients without insurance. Dental services are provided through collaboration with area hospital emergency rooms, partner dentists and local non-profit organizations. Partner dentists provide services to patients referred from the area emergency rooms free of charge, while patients “pay it forward” through attendance at educational programs designed to teach good dental health behaviors and volunteer hours at non-profit organizations located throughout the community. Since 2009, the CHC has reduced visits to area emergency rooms by 71 percent, while reducing repeat visits due to dental related issues to zero.

Holland Free Clinic ($5,000)

The Holland Free Clinic will use its grant of $5,000 to offer additional comprehensive dental care. As the only clinic in Holland serving the uninsured and underinsured at reduced or no cost, the organization will use the funding to recruit dental professionals who can perform oral surgery in the form of extractions and provide dentures to restore smiles to patients.



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