Thousands of uninsured to gain access to free dental care thanks to Delta Dental donation

$162K donation will help purchase dental equipment for America’s Mission of Mercy events

October 6, 2011

San Francisco — Thousands of people nationwide who are either uninsured or underinsured will receive the dental care they need, thanks to a major donation from Delta Dental.

On behalf of numerous participating Delta Dental plans including Delta Dental of California and its affiliates, Kim Volk, president and CEO of Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), presented a check for $162,000 to the America’s Dentists Care Foundation (ADCF), the umbrella organization for America’s Mission of Mercy events. The donation will go toward the purchase of portable dental equipment.

“This donation from Delta Dental companies will mean that we are able to purchase the equipment needed to continue providing free dental care to the underserved,” said Bruce Bergstrom, executive director of the ADCF. “We are very grateful for their support of our mission.”

A “Mission of Mercy” is a two-day dental clinic held in a large venue – such as an arena or a convention center – supported by several hundred volunteer dental professionals, staff and laypeople providing free oral health care on a first-come, first-served basis. The first Mission of Mercy event took place in Virginia in 2000, and the events are projected to expand to 22 states in 2012. Since 2000, volunteers have provided dental care to more than 100,000 people at a value of more than $50 million nationwide.

“We are very proud to support the volunteer dental professionals who make these clinics possible,” said Gary D. Radine, president and CEO of Delta Dental of California and its affiliates, which donated $27,000 to the total amount. “This donation helps fulfill Delta Dental’s core not-for-profit mission, which is to improve the oral health of all Americans.”

In addition to this donation, Delta Dental of California and affiliates gave $10,000 each to the Georgia Dental Association and the Mississippi Dental Association to support their state Mission of Mercy events.

Headquartered in Wichita, Kan., The America’s Dentists Care Foundation (http://www.adcfmom.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing and maintaining all the equipment necessary to put on a “MOM” event. America’s Dentists Care Foundation was founded in 2008 to oversee the Mission of Mercy events and provide general quality control. The nonprofit corporation solicits private donations, registers volunteers and purchases the necessary dental equipment.

Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies, including Delta Dental of Pennsylvania, Delta Dental of New York and several other Delta Dental companies under common management, provide dental benefits plans in 15 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All are part of the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, Ill., which is composed of 39 independent Delta Dental member companies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In 2010, Delta Dental member companies donated more than $48 million throughout the country to support programs that focus on preventing dental disease, expanding access to care, advancing dental science and understanding the connections between oral and overall health.

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