May 19, 2016 (St. Paul, MN) – At its March 4 board meeting, the Patterson Foundation awarded grants to six nonprofit organizations from across the U.S. Grants totaling more than $43,000 were awarded to the nonprofits in support of their missions to provide care to underserved populations.
Longtime grantee Union Gospel Mission received $10,000 in support of its dental professional volunteers providing care to more than 2,450 patients annually at its clinic. “Our most recent meals and dental assistant grant from the Foundation helps us to keep our evening dental clinic hours staffed, at which many patients access our free dental services,” said clinic director Jessica Flotterud. “Students, faculty and other volunteers assisting in the evening clinic often come directly from classes or treating their own patients in their private dental offices. The light meals we serve onsite help them concentrate on the treatments they’re providing.” The food budget also feeds hundreds of dental volunteers during four days of pediatric dental treatment and oral health education events by appointment in February and August, as well as two walk-ˇin Saint Paul Dental Connect days in March and September each year.
Union Gospel Mission provides free dental care to needy men, women and children each year, “to help fill an increasingly worrisome gap in access to quality dental care, despite national healthcare legislation,” Flotterud continued. “We’re also committed to educating children as well as adults about best oral health practices. When patients adopt basic brushing and flossing techniques, and consider new pathways to nutrition, dental office visits and oral infections can be reduced – the goals of a free community clinic.”
Since 2005, the Foundation has awarded Union Gospel Mission $131,500, which has enabled the organization to broaden its ability to serve more people in need in the community. “Patterson has been a long-ˇterm partner, advocating for us and our efforts to expand oral health not only among our own homeless residents, but to members of the community at large,” Flotterud said. “Foundation funding has helped us with niche funding that has been difficult to find elsewhere, including dollars that have helped us retain dental volunteers to staff our evening clinic hours.”
The Patterson Foundation will award additional grants to nonprofit organizations at its June board meeting. Q1 grant recipients and the communities where each is located:
• Friends of Creston Children’s Dental Clinic – Portland, Ore.
• Good Samaritan Care Clinic – Mountain View, Mo.
• KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic – Columbus, Ohio
• Sacramento District Dental Foundation – Sacramento, Calif.
• Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities – St. Paul, Minn.
• Walton Foundation for Independence – Augusta, Ga.