NAPERVILLE – Two Metro East health care organizations were recently awarded grants through two programs that together provided nearly $8 million statewide this year to help improve the oral and overall health of Illinoisans.

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The Health Equity Grant and COVID-19 Renewal Grant programs are funded by Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation and Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. The programs aim to improve health care across the state — especially among children — through education and access to quality care.

The two Metro East recipients are:

Macoupin Community Health Centers, Carlinville, $66,500 COVID-19 Renewal Grant.The Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc. serves 15 counties and about 5,300 dental patients each year, more than half of which are children. Grant funding will support staffing and supplies at the Morgan Street clinic in Carlinville. This clinic will add four additional dental chairs, doubling their total to eight chairs for patient care and plans to complete this expansion project in February 2022.

SIHF Healthcare, Sauget, $127,274 COVID-19 Renewal Grant.SIHF Healthcare will use its funds to offset revenue losses due to COVID-19 and to ensure they continue to provide a full array of dental services to the communities they serve.

“These programs make a difference in countless lives by helping Illinois children and families get the health and dental care they need,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. “Beyond improving access to care, these grants also provide education, which is key to setting the foundation for a lifetime of good health.”

Bob Egan, senior program officer of Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, said the grants aim to break down barriers preventing children from accessing quality, comprehensive oral health services.

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“Our vision is for every child in Illinois to grow up healthy,” Egan said. “Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation is proud to partner with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation in this important work of eliminating health disparities across the state.”

Details about the two foundations’ 2021 Health Equity Grants and COVID-19 Renewal Grants are below:

Health Equity Grants: The two foundations awarded $4 million to 19 Illinois organizations through the new COVID-19 Utilization: Decreasing Oral Health Disparities Health Equity Grant Program to assist organizations working to improve the oral and overall health of children impacted by poverty and COVID-19. Each foundation contributed $2 million for this initiative. Grants of up to $200,000 were awarded for use within two years. View a full list of recipients athttps://www.deltadentalil.com/health-equity/.

COVID-19 Renewal Grants: More than $3.5 million was awarded by the two foundations to 35 Illinois health centers and clinics that deliver vital health care services to residents who may face obstacles to care. The grants, which were renewed in 2021 to organizations that received them in 2020, aim to offset costs associated with reopening and continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to $100,000 were available to Illinois health centers and clinics that integrate oral health into a primary health care setting. View a full list of recipients athttps://www.deltadentalil.com/covid-19-renewal-grants.

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 and is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois, with a specific focus on children. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $15 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information, visit deltadentalil.com/ddilfoundation.

About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: Every child in Illinois grows up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grant making on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. For more information, go to ilchf.org. To date, the Foundation has committed over $111 million to help achieve its vision.

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