Grant to expand dental services for children in Rock River Valley area
The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois, granted its fourth annual $100,000 Wisdom Tooth Award to Crusader Community Health to help expand dental services for children in the Rock River Valley area. This grant will impact access to dental care for more than 3,000 school children at the Crusader School Based Health Center at the Auburn High School (AHS) campus and throughout Rockford, particularly those from the highest need areas on the west side of Rockford.
With five locations in Rockford, Loves Park and Belvidere, Crusader Community Health is a not-for-profit health center with a mission to serve the Rock River Valley area with quality primary health care for all, regardless of their ability to pay. The organization will use the Wisdom Tooth Award to expand and enhance the oral health care it provides through the hiring of an additional full-‐time dentist. The new dentist will work at both the AHS School-Based Health Center and Crusader Community Health’s West State Street location. A portion of the Wisdom Tooth grant will also fund the purchase of a digital sensor RVG6200 for the organization’s Kodak digital x-ray system, which will allow for better dental X-rays for children ages ten and older. With these additions, Crusader Community Health expects to serve 400 more children each month.
“We are honored to present the 2016 Wisdom Tooth Award to an organization that shares our mission to improve children’s oral health in Illinois,” said Bernie Glossy, president of the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation Board of Directors and president and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. “Crusader Community Health has proven its commitment to improving the oral health of thousands of children with services ranging from preventive care to procedures to address tooth decay and dental problems, and we are thrilled to support them as they work to provide care to even more children, especially
those who are most in need.”
Each year, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation grants the Wisdom Tooth Award to an organization that significantly improves the oral health of Illinois children, in keeping with its mission to improve oral health in Illinois through education, awareness and improved access to care. This year, the Foundation selected Crusader Community Health from 18 applicants to support its plans to expand services.
“Improving oral health has been a major initiative for Crusader and without a doubt this Wisdom Tooth Award will support that initiative. The grant dollars will allow us to expand access to oral health care for children at the Crusader Auburn High School Based Health Center and our Crusader on West State Street dental programs” said Kathy Olson, dental director of Crusader Community Health. “Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation’s support will help us reach many more children who have few options for seeking dental care outside of Crusader. We are truly grateful to the Foundation as this grant will make a huge impact on expanding access to dental care to all children, but especially to those children living on the west side experiencing high levels of poverty.”