INDIANAPOLIS – (Nov. 11, 2011) The Delta Dental Foundation has given the Indiana University School of Dentistry a $50,000 grant to operate the university’s Seal Indiana mobile program. The initiative brings vital preventative dental care to Indiana children in key underserved areas while enabling dental students to help alleviate disparities in access to healthcare. Gifts from the foundation to the school now total $250,000.
The Delta Dental Foundation will present a check to the IU School of Dentistry during one of Seal Indiana’s mobile clinic visits in Marion County on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 10:30 a.m. at Lawrence Township’s Skiles Test Elementary School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The school is located at 7001 Johnson Road, Indianapolis.
Media are invited to attend the check presentation, meet the Seal Indiana team, and observe the team as it provides care to children.
Seal Indiana targets low-income, school-aged children experiencing barriers in accessing preventative dental services. Oral examinations, sealant application and fluoride varnishes are provided to the children by senior students within the School of Dentistry, working under the direction of licensed dental faculty.
“We are dedicated to supporting this program, which provides critical oral healthcare to thousands of children,” said Nancy Hostetler, senior vice president for the Delta Dental Foundation. “These are kids who are often in pain or suffering from tooth decay and infection due to a severe lack in dental hygiene simply because they can’t afford preventative oral healthcare.”
From the program’s inception in March 2003 to the end of September this year, Seal Indiana has served more than 23,000 children within the state at more than 1,100 sites including Title I (lowest income) schools, Head Start and youth programs, community health centers, and city shelters for homeless mothers and children. The dental team has provided 17,000 fluoride varnish treatments and placed 33,000 sealants on permanent teeth.
The Delta Dental Foundation has assisted Seal Indiana for the last four years, specifically with grants earmarked for clinical services for children without insurance whose families could not otherwise provide dental care. Foundation grants have made it possible for IU to provide services to youngsters in a third of Indiana’s 92 counties.
“Delta Dental Foundation has been a longtime friend and supporter,” said Dr. Karen M. Yoder, the IU dental school’s director of Civic Engagement and Oral Health Policy. “Its help has enabled Seal Indiana to identify underprivileged children who need dental care and to join hands with the Indiana Dental Association to find local dentists to provide those services, often at little or no cost to the families most in need.”
Seal Indiana works with Indiana Dental Association members and the Indiana State Department of Health to locate rural and urban children from low-income families. Preventative services are performed on site with portable dental equipment.
About Delta Dental Foundation
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. The Foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science, and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit www.deltadentalin.com.
About Indiana University School of Dentistry
Located on the Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis campus, the Indiana University School of Dentistry is one of the oldest dental schools in the United States and has more than 11,500 living alumni who are pursuing careers throughout the nation and in about 30 other countries. The only dental school in Indiana, it has educated about 85 percent of Indiana dentists. For more information, visit www.iusd.iupui.edu.