Delhi Community Health Center Dental Clinic staff members are, from left, Dr. Mindi Roberson, Misty Croft, Amelia Sanders, Makieta South, Dr. Claire Raphael, Gaynelle Raybon, Ruthie Grant, Terresia Acreman and Temeisha Johnson.
Delhi Hospital receives grant for dental care
The Delhi Community Health Center Dental Clinic is one of 13 Louisiana organizations receiving grants totaling nearly $375,000 to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This grant really is a pretty big deal to us,” Richland Parish Hospital CFO Jinger Greer said. “We have gotten a few grants from them before, but this is the largest so far. We serve quite a few uninsured people with this funding -- and we also serve quite a few more on a sliding fee scale. In this case, the patient pays a very nominal amount based on their income and household size.”
These unrestricted grants were awarded by the Delta Dental Community Care Foundationto help the Foundation’s nonprofit partners continue to provide vital services to the most vulnerable members of their communities.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a one-two punch for many of our Louisiana-based nonprofit partners by increasing the needs for their services while reducing their fundraising capability and ability to rely on volunteers,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president of Foundation and corporate social responsibility for Delta Dental of California. “We made the decision to allocate nearly all of our 2020 funding to support those fighting on the front lines of COVID-19 and will continue to be a resource to our communities as this pandemic continues.”
“We knew there was a big need for affordable dental services for our low-income, uninsured patients, we just didn’t realize how big the need is until we opened our Dental Clinic in Oct 2016,” Greer said. “For one example, some Medicaid plans will pay for the dentures, but may not pay for the tooth extractions necessary before the patient can get the dentures. And think about the seniors on Medicare with no dental insurance.”
The grants in Louisiana are only a fraction of the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation response. In total, the Foundation has given roughly $11 million to more than 250 organizations across 15 states and Washington, D.C. and plans to make an additional several million in funding available in the coming months to respond to emerging needs as the pandemic continues.
“Service is a core value of Delta Dental, and it’s taken on new urgency as communities struggle with the financial and social costs of the pandemic,” said Mike Castro, president and CEO of Delta Dental of California and its affiliates. “We are committed to supporting and caring for the underserved who continue to disproportionately feel the impacts of this crisis.”
Organizations that received funding included health centers, food banks and other community organizations providing services to elderly and home-bound individuals, including EXCELth in New Orleans, Iberia Comprehensive Community Health Center in New Iberia, Lafayette General Foundation in Lafayette, Lourdes Foundation in Lafayette, Marillac Community Health Centers in New Orleans, NO AIDS Task Force in New Orleans, Odyssey House Louisiana in New Orleans, Southeast Community Health Systems in Zachary, SWLA Center for Health Services in Lake Charles, University of Louisiana at Monroe in Monroe, Winn Community Health Center in Winnfield and Working Peoples Free Clinic in Alexandria.
Delta Dental of California and its affiliates also partnered with Lendeavor on a $300 million loan program for its independent dental providers and offered premium relief to customers.
In addition, Delta Dental provided emergency time off and other resources to employees affected by illness or closures resulting from the pandemic. All told, Delta Dental of California and its affiliates financial support to stakeholders affected by COVID-19 exceeds $700 million.