Delta Dental of Illinois and its 501(c)(3) charitable arm, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, joined its partners and employees in giving nearly $6 million to communities throughout Illinois in 2020.
The amount included launching several new programs as part of its mission to improve the oral and overall health of Illinois residents.
“Corporate citizenship is a core value of ours,” said John Maples, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Illinois. “We strive to continually demonstrate this value through our charitable contributions and community engagement.”
During an unprecedented year of challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Dental of Illinois and its Foundation, along with employees and the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, invested in communities across the state with both new and ongoing initiatives.
“Ensuring equal access to quality oral health care and education, especially for children, is at the heart of what we do,” said Lora Vitek, executive director for Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “During the pandemic, we expanded our efforts in the community to ensure that vital health care services continued for those who needed it most.”
Initiatives in 2020 included:
COVID-19 Grants: Awarded $4 million in COVID-19 grants to 56 health care organizations and clinics in June and September. The grants, given in partnership with the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation, helped ensure delivery of vital health care services to underserved Illinoisans during the pandemic.
Supported Illinois dentists and patients: Donated $1 million to the Illinois State Dental Society Foundation and $70,000 to Dental Lifeline Network. In addition, a $2 million gift to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry helped create two general anesthesia suites (completed last year) that will serve 1,000 more patients each year and reduce wait times for children.
H2O On the Go: Provided 86 Illinois elementary, middle and high schools with new water bottle-filling stations valued at $500,000 as part of H20 On the Go, a new grant program in partnership with the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation. The new stations are environmentally friendly, touchless and encourage students to drink water instead of sugary beverages. Students also received free toothbrushes and reusable water bottles.
Community Grants: Awarded more than $255,000 to 16 nonprofit and community organizations to improve education and increase access to oral health care for Illinois children. In 2020, the maximum grant for each recipient doubled to $20,000. More than $1.2 million has been donated through this program since 2014.
Corporate citizenship: Delta Dental of Illinois employees donated and participated in charitable activities with organizations including Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Soldiers’ Angels, Hope For The Day, American Diabetes Association and Almost Home Kids.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation creatively continued its efforts to expand oral health care and education through online versions of its Dentist By 1 and Land of Smiles programs. The Foundation provided training for dentists to work with young patients, and a virtual program with superheroes teaching Illinois children about good oral health habits. For more details, see the 2020 Delta Dental of Illinois Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
About Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
Delta Dental is the national dental benefits leader covering 1 in 3 Americans who have dental coverage. Delta Dental of Illinois is one of 39 member companies that make up the national Delta Dental system. Based in Naperville, Illinois, Delta Dental of Illinois provides dental benefit programs to more than 6,000 Illinois companies and covers 2 million individuals, employees and family members nationwide. Delta Dental of Illinois is committed to improving oral health in our community and furthers this commitment through the work of its 501(c)(3) charitable arm, Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. 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.