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MDS Foundation Awards Over $100,000 in Grants

by adminjay

The MDS Foundation, the charitable arm of the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS), recently awarded more than $100,000 in grants to seven organizations serving the oral health needs of Massachusetts residents. “Each year, the Foundation provides grants to champion oral health initiatives throughout the Commonwealth. This year, we are especially proud of the MDS Foundation’s work in providing care to diverse communities across the state,” shared MDS Foundation Chair Robert Lewando, DDS. “We will continue breaking down barriers to care and improving the oral health of Massachusetts residents with the Foundation’s continued efforts and the generosity of our donors.”

The annual Access to Care grants support programs by providing increased access to oral health care and education to underserved communities. The following 2024 grant recipients bring innovative programs and initiatives to those in need.

Access to Care Grant Recipients:

  • Community Health Connections, whose mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care in the community, was awarded $12,155 to help fund the purchase of dental equipment for their community health center in Leominster, MA.
  • Dental Lifeline Network—Donated Dental Services (DDS) Massachusetts, which offers underserved patients in Massachusetts access to pro bono dental care since 2005, received a $24,000 grant. This funding will provide oral health care for 40 individuals with disabilities, fragile medical conditions, and the elderly. It will also be used to expand the network of volunteer dentists in the state.
  • The Forsyth Institute—ForsythKids Program works to provide oral health care to disadvantaged children. They received a $10,000 grant to increase the number of students served, promote improved oral health for these at-risk children, and continue developing a cost-effective model to distribute services.
  • Harvard University American Student Dental Association Community Involvement (ASDA CI) connects with dentally underserved Massachusetts communities to address oral health disparities. ASDA CI received a $7,000 grant to help the group purchase supplies for their two student-run outreach dental clinics.
  • Tufts University Autism Smiles Program offers children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) an anxiety-free dental visit experience while promoting good oral hygiene and increasing access to care. Autism Smiles received a $10,000 grant to help them continue their programming and develop an interactive app aimed at creating a pillar of support for children with ASD.
  • Tufts University Cares for Veterans Program aims to improve access to oral health care for veterans in Massachusetts with housing insecurity and educate providers on their role working in community-based settings. The Cares for Veterans Program, formerly known as Service with a Smile, received a $15,000 grant to expand their programming to reach more veterans with oral health education, oral health/cancer screenings, and connecting them to dental homes for long-term care.
  • Volunteers in Medicine (ViM) Berkshires disrupts systematic barriers to health equity and provides free care to those in the region who are ineligible for health insurance and are income qualified. ViM Berkshires was awarded a $25,000 grant to help fund the opening of a second clinic in Pittsfield, MA, which will include dental and general health services.

Grantee Partners Share the Impact of the Grant Funding: Dr. Sean Rayment, chair of grant recipient Dental Lifeline Network—Massachusetts, shared, “We are thrilled by the MDS Foundation’s support for our common mission. This generous grant will allow us to expand our capacity, enabling volunteer dentists in Massachusetts to provide critical treatment for those in need.”

ViM Berkshires Grant Coordinator Pat Levine expressed, “We are deeply grateful to the MDS Foundation for helping us move one step closer to a more equitable healthcare system. By increasing access to dental care for one of the most vulnerable populations in our community, the MDS Foundation has made a real impact on the health of our patients, many of whom have never seen a dentist in their entire life.”

About the Massachusetts Dental Society

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS), a 5,000+ professional association and statewide constituent of the American Dental Association, is dedicated to the professional development of its member dentists through initiatives in education, advocacy, the promotion of the highest professional standards, and championing oral health in the Commonwealth. For more information, visit massdental.org, and follow the MDS on Twitter @MassDental.

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