Delta Dental makes record-setting gift to The University of Texas School of Dentistry

December 1, 2011

Delta Dental Insurance Company today presented a check for $350,000 to The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD) – the largest corporate-based contribution in the school’s five-year fundraising campaign.

The grant will fund the Delta Dental Assessment and Clinical Research Clinic in the new dental school building, serving new patients and accommodating the school’s student and faculty researchers.

The gift is the largest company contribution in the five-year history of UTSD’s “Open to Health” fundraising initiative. Funds received by the School of Dentistry during the initiative now total approximately $16.4 million.

“UTSD has a long and proud history of helping the community, which aligns with Delta Dental’s mission of increasing access to dental care,” said John Yamamoto, DDS, vice president of Professional Services for Delta Dental. “We are honored to participate with the project’s founders, contributors and leadership, who all share a vision to increase access to dental care for underserved populations.”

Since its inception, UTSD has provided quality patient care through its educational programs in Houston and throughout Texas. In addition to operating general and specialty clinics and maintaining affiliations with hospitals, community agencies, health care centers and schools, the School of Dentistry sponsors a Mobile Dental Van Program to care for patients in remote locations who are unable to attend regular clinics.

“We very much appreciate Delta Dental’s support for our new school,” said UTSD Dean John A. Valenza, DDS. “Gifts like this help us keep the cost of oral health care among the most affordable in the country, while ensuring that our future dentists and dental hygienists have a chance to learn their professions in state-of-the art facilities.”

Also attending today’s presentation at the school was Rep. Carol Alvarado of Houston, who serves on the Texas House of Representatives’ Public Health Committee. “UTSD has proven itself to be one of the premiere dental schools in Texas with exceptional students and faculty,” Alvarado said. “Delta Dental’s significant contribution will allow UTSD to continue improving oral health care and provide needed services within the community.”

Delta Dental currently administers the dental portion of the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) program, serving 540,000 Texas children. Beginning March 1, 2012, the company will also be one of three administrators for the new Texas Medicaid dental program, which will cover approximately 3.1 million Medicaid and Texas CHIP members.

About Delta Dental

Delta Dental Insurance Company and its affiliated companies cover 25 million people in 15 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The companies are all part of the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, Ill. For more information about group and individual dental plans, or to locate a contracted Delta Dental dentist, visit www.deltadentalins.com.

About UTSD

The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston (UTSD) is the oldest dental school in Texas, founded in 1905 as the privately owned Texas Dental College. The school joined UT System in 1943 and is now part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

UTSD offers accredited programs in dentistry, dental hygiene, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthodontics, periodontics and two general dentistry residency programs, as well as a joint DDS/PhD with UT Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and an MD through the UT Medical School, with an oral and maxillofacial surgery certificate.

In 2006, the school began the Open to Health fundraising initiative to provide scholarships, faculty endowments, research and community outreach funds, in addition to a new building. As of Nov. 1, 2011, the drive had raised nearly $17 million.

For more information, contact UTSD Communications Manager Rhonda Moran Whitmeyer, 713-500-4023, Rhonda.Moran@uth.tmc.edu.

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