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Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation was established in 1997. We began by giving small grants to dental charities and have since grown to partner with community-based organizations to provide innovative and equitable oral health care by providing grants, engaging with groups across the state, and supporting policy and systems change. The following are a selection of our past initiatives and projects, some of which are still active to this day.

We work to advance oral health equity for all Coloradans.

COVID-19 (2020-2022)

Vaccine Equity Fund

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation donated $50,000 to Together We Protect – Colorado’s COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Fund. This funding supports Colorado community-based organizations, working in partnership with state-contracted vaccine providers, to provide culturally relevant outreach, education, and support to ensure communities who face systemic barriers have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000 will be awarded to applicants from across Colorado. Learn more.

Impact: $4.2 million has been granted to 88 organizations across Colorado.

2020 Responsive Community Relief Funding

The 2020 Responsive Community Relief Funding opportunity supported Colorado nonprofits that facilitate services connecting people most significantly stressed by the effects of COVID-19. Learn more.

Impact: $2 million in grants to 34 organizations, reaching 95,000 Coloradans.

Colorado COVID Relief Fund

Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation donated $250,000 to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, hosted by the state of Colorado and Mile High United Way. These pooled funds will provide flexible resources to organizations working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. Learn more.

Impact: Nearly $3 million collectively raised to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus.

$7.5M Loan Program for Oral Health Provider Practices

In partnership with the Colorado Enterprise Fund, DDCOF sponsored a $7.5 million loan program for oral health providers, nonprofit clinics, and community health providers experiencing financial difficulties as they reopened their practices and complied with COVID-19 protocols. Learn more.

Impact: 11 low interest loans we distributed to oral health providers and community health organizations.

Land of Smiles (2013-2018)

Land of Smiles was a free school-based theater program for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade.  Starring Tooth Wizard and his antagonist, Plaque Man, this fun and interactive show taught the importance of good oral health habits. Each student received a Smile Bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to help implement effective practice at home. We focused on reaching schools with high free and reduced lunch rates and schools in rural communities. Impact: 135,328 students reached in 542 schools statewide.

Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project (2014-present)

Launched in 2014, the Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project (CO MDI) expanded access to dental services for populations who experienced limited access to dental care by integrating registered dental hygienists into medical care teams. Partner clinics focus on providing care to populations that experience oral health inequities. This model is unique in the nation because of its integration of oral health as a part of general health and well-being.

Impact: More than 80,000 dental visits within medical settings for patients who otherwise may not receive care due to insurance status, transportation, geography, or socioeconomic status.

Heroes Clinic

The Heroes Clinic is located in the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and is staffed by faculty and fourth-year students at CU’s School of Dental Medicine. The clinic helps bridge the gap in dental care that veteran students experience when they lose dental coverage upon completion of military service. It is reported that 80 percent of veterans lack access to dental benefits or have not received any dental care since leaving the military. Beginning in 2014, DDCOF helped launch the Heroes Clinic with $2 million in contributions that helped sustain operations for five years. The Heroes Clinic is still operational to this day.  Learn more.

Impact: 1,133 patients served since inception.

The Frontier Clinic (2015-2018)

Located in the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of oral health and the connections between oral health and overall health by encouraging interactions between dentistry and medicine. The Frontier Center is part of a campus-wide interprofessional education program that allows students to practice collaboratively to improve patient safety and health outcomes. DDCOF contributed more than $3 million to support the Frontier Clinic’s efforts. Learn more about the Frontier Clinic.

Impact: More opportunities for students to receive hands-on training and education. More than 3,500 medical, pharmacy, nursing, and other health-profession students, residents, and practitioners utilized the Frontier clinic.

Cavity Free at Three (2007-present)

This program works to reduce dental caries (cavities) in children. Dental caries are the number one chronic childhood disease and, yet, they are preventable. Cavity Free at Three trains medical and dental professionals to provide preventive oral health services for young children and pregnant women to decrease dental disease and reduce oral health disparities among high-risk populations.  DDCOF was an original funder of this important program, alongside Caring for Colorado Foundation, The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Kaiser Permanente and Rose Community Foundation. Learn more about Cavity Free at Three.

Impact: The Cavity Free by Three program has trained more than 5,000 medical and dental professionals in performing preventative dental health. Also, fewer Colorado children have cavities now than 10 years ago.