W.K. Kellogg Foundation Expands Support for Dental Care for Vulnerable Youth

Posted on August 10, 2016

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) has awarded a $100,000 grant to the American Dental Education Association Minority Dental Faculty Development and Inclusion (ADEA MDFDI) program to continue diversity leadership training for allied dental professionals, such as dental hygienists, in an effort to address oral health disparities experienced by vulnerable children and their communities. The funding completes a two-year grant.

The ADEA MDFDI program seeks to develop new, more diverse generations of allied dental health professionals as a unique strategy to meet the significant unmet need for dental care across the United States, especially among children and adolescents.

“We know that patients from diverse ethnic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to seek health care from a minority provider,” said Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D, M.P.H., ADEA President and CEO. “That’s what this whole approach is about—ensuring these patients have somewhere to go for dental care that meets their needs.”

In addition, trends show that health professionals from underserved areas often return to those areas to practice. “This new funding from the Kellogg Foundation simultaneously allows teams of dental professionals to provide care to communities in need today and helps create a dental workforce better prepared for tomorrow’s growing and more diverse nation,” says Jeanne C. Sinkford, D.D.S., Ph.D., ADEA Senior Scholar in Residence.

Over 108 million Americans lack dental insurance and thus access to dental care—and children in underserved communities are disproportionately affected by this epidemic. Untreated dental caries (cavities) was more than twice as high for Hispanic children (26%) and for non-Hispanic black adolescents ages 13–15 (25%) compared with non-Hispanic white children and adolescents, respectively.

ADEA MDFDI partner schools, via more than 130 academic/community collaborations, will work under the program to extend its efforts to geographic areas with new or no existing dental schools. These new partners will work hand-in-hand with dental and allied dental faculty to provide dental and preventive care to children and adolescents in underserved areas.

More information on the ADEA MDFDI program, including a free, downloadable toolkit with academic leadership mentoring strategies, is available here.

About ADEA: The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is The Voice of Dental Education. Its members include all 76 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, over 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, 66 corporations and more than 20,000 individuals. The mission of ADEA is to lead institutions and individuals in the dental education community to address contemporary issues influencing education, research and the delivery of oral health care for the overall health and safety of the public. ADEA’s activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings and communications, including the esteemed Journal of Dental Education, as well as the dental school admissions services ADEA AADSAS, ADEA PASS, ADEA DHCAS and ADEA CAAPID. For more information about ADEA, visit adea.org.

About WKKF: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

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