36 Illinois Health Centers Receive $3 Million in COVID-19 Grants

36 Illinois Health Centers Receive $3 Million in COVID-19 Grants

36 Illinois Health Centers Receive $3 Million in COVID-19 Grants
Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation partners with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
in Combined Oral Health Relief Effort

Oak Brook, Ill. (October 1, 2020) Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF), in partnership with the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation (DDIF), awarded $3 million in grants to 36 Illinois Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and other public health clinics that deliver vital oral health care services. The Foundations developed the grant opportunity to help offset costs associated with reopening dental clinics and continuing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of up to $100,000 were available to Illinois FQHCs and public health clinics that integrate oral health into a primary health care setting. 

“The grants focus on FQHCs and other public health clinics as these organizations offer crucial oral health services to Illinois residents who are underserved and may face obstacles to receiving needed care, said Heather Higgins Alderman, President of ILCHF.  “Today’s announcement is an extension of our organization’s decision months ago to dive deeper into this work. We are grateful that our partners at DDIF are as committed to eliminating oral health disparities, which have only been made worse by the pandemic, and recognize the important role these organizations have in providing care,” Alderman added.

“Sadly, far too many Illinois children face barriers to achieving good oral and overall health, and the coronavirus pandemic has only increased those barriers, creating an environment that will have  long-lasting impacts on communities,” said Bob Egan, the Foundation’s Senior Program Officer for Oral Health. “Through this innovative grant program with Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, we are providing critical resources to organizations in our communities to help residents get access to vital oral health services during this health crisis and beyond. We are deeply proud to be a part of this work,” Egan added.  

ILCHF is awarding $1.5 million in grants to 19 Illinois organizations, while DDIF is awarding $1.5 million to 17 Illinois organizations providing oral health services. These oral health grants come after ILCHF recently awarded $1.1 million to 22 FQHCs and DDIF awarded $1.0 million to 20 FQHCs in late June to complete their previous collaboration funding general operating costs for FQHCs, with each organization in that effort receiving a $50,000 grant for a combined $2.1 million in funding.

“While these clinics have seen a significant financial impact as a result of the pandemic, they must continue to serve their patients who are often uninsured or underserved to ensure health disparities do not increase,” said Lora Vitek, executive director of the DDIF. “By partnering with these organizations, we work to improve overall health and well-being for countless Illinoisans.”

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation grant recipients include: 

Advocate Charitable Foundation, Downers Grove 

The Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center (AIMMC) Department of Dentistry serves patients through three clinics, including socially, medically and developmentally challenged children and young adults from high-need communities around metropolitan Chicago. Grant funding will support safety and equipment modifications necessary to continue to provide care to patients.

Central Counties Health Centers, Inc., Springfield 

With this funding, Central Counties Health Centers, Inc. will aid general operating costs for the dental program, including safety precautions and personal protective equipment. 

Chicago Family Health Center, Inc., Chicago 

The Chicago Family Health Center, Inc. provides care for the medically underserved on Chicago’s south and southeast sides through a network of six locations. The Center will use their grant to purchase necessary infection prevention equipment and to fund structural layout changes that align with safety protocols. 

Crusaders Central Clinic Association, Rockford 

Crusaders Central Clinic Association plans to use its grant to add negative pressure rooms to its dental clinics to help prevent cross-contamination from room to room. The center serves the Rock River Valley in northern Illinois.

DuPage County Health Department, Wheaton

The DuPage County Health Department will use the grant to purchase personal protective equipment for dental staff at both of its fixed clinics and mobile Smile Squad. Additionally, funding will be used to enhance operations, including adding filtration systems and, fluoride varnish rooms, as well as supporting a dental hygienist. 

Erie Family Health Foundation Inc., Chicago 

Erie Family Health Foundation will use its funding to help rebuild its capacity to pre-pandemic levels and continue to provide services to its pediatric patients who are mostly low-income. Their goal is to reach 60% of that capacity this year, serving a minimum of 6,354 children annually.

Greater Elgin Family Care Center, Elgin 

The Greater Elgin Family Care Center will use the grant to support its pediatric oral health program at its Seneca Health Center & Dental Clinic. Funding will be used to maintain the clinic’s capacity and staffing to provide an array of dental services to address the need for dental care for children in its service area. 

Hancock County Health Dept. Dental Center, Carthage 

The Hancock County Health Dept. Dental Center is the only Medicaid provider in Hancock County and serves children in their own county, as well as from other counties without a Medicaid provider. The funding will support a dental assistant and hygienist to provide care and sustain the center’s preventative care and sealant program for children. 

Heartland International Health Center, Chicago 

Heartland will use its grant for staffing resources and program leadership, as well as specialized filtration and extraction equipment and personal protective equipment for dentists and staff. 

Eagle View Community Health System, Oquawka

Eagle View Community Health System plans to use its grant for a negative pressure dental space at its Stronghurst dental clinic, to see more patients and to purchase two new X-ray machines. Eagle View Community Health System serves Henderson, Warren, Mercer and McDonough counties, with a focus on those who are underinsured and underserved, specifically children. 

Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, Chicago 

The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago will use its grant to support its operations, so it can continue to serve those in need, including underserved children and families. 

Lawndale Christian Health Center, Chicago 

Lawndale Christian Health Center is the medical home to more than 65,000 low-income patients, including 19,500 children, and offers a variety of services, including dental care. Grant funds will help support staff and operations. 

McLean County Health Department, Chicago 

The McLean County Health Department serves one of Illinois’ largest counties with 172,000 residents and will use its grant to offset expenses associated with modified safety enhancements as a result of the pandemic.

Milestone Inc., Loves Park 

Milestone is using its funds for equipment to maintain proper sanitation and safety at its clinic for patients and staff, so it can continue to meet the oral health needs of new patients each month and expedite appointment wait times for these patients who travel from 40 counties in Illinois to receive needed care. 

Mobile Care Chicago, Chicago 

Mobile Care Chicago uses mobile medical clinics to provide children access to specialty care. The Foundation is using the grant for renovations for their mobile unit clinics, helping ensure the safety of patients during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Near North Health Service Corporation, Chicago 

Near North Health Service Corporation will use the grant to purchase air purification units so they can increase in-person oral health education and services provided by four dentists at the corporation’s health centers versus using telehealth exclusively. 

SIHF Healthcare, Sauget 

SIHF Healthcare will use its funds for air filtration systems, the installation of plexiglass barriers and personal protective equipment. SIHF cares for more than 106,000 patients from southwestern Illinois stretching from the Mississippi River outside St. Louis across Illinois to the Indiana border. 

Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society Children’s Clinic, Oak Park 

The Oak Park River Forest Infant Welfare Society Children’s Clinic plans to use the grant to support its dental staff and purchase personal protective equipment. The clinic provides health services to children and families unable to afford the cost of private health care. 

Well Child Center, Elgin 

The Well Child Center provides health and social services for low-income families and uninsured, at-risk children who live in Kane County. Grant funding will help the Center purchase personal protective equipment for its dental staff. 

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation grant recipients include: 

Alivio Medical Center, Chicago 

This grant will go toward general operating support for children’s oral health services. Funding will be used to support staffing, as well as personal protective equipment for the dental department. Alivio provides health care to the uninsured and underinsured, including many from the Latino community. 

Asian Human Services Family Health Center Inc, Chicago 

The Asian Human Services Family Health Center Inc. operates four Federally Qualified Health Centers in Chicago and the northern suburbs for anyone who needs care, regardless of their ability to pay. They will use the grant funding for general operating costs so that they can continue to prioritize children, ensuring their youngest patients have the care they need. 

Beloved Community Family Wellness Center, Chicago 

Beloved Community Family Wellness Center plans to add an additional operatory to reduce patient wait time and enhance disinfectant procedures with its grant funds. Beloved offers services to patients and families in Englewood and surrounding communities. 

Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc., Cairo 

This grant will allow Community Health & Emergency Services, Inc. to maintain its dental staff of six dentists, three dental hygienists, 12 dental assistants and six front desk/intake workers, while adding an outreach worker to encourage families to bring in their children for oral health services. In addition, the organization — which serves seven Illinois counties with its 11 facilities — will provide children’s dental services through its mobile health clinic program. This will help eliminate barriers to accessing care and support children’s growth and development.   

Community Health Partnership of Illinois, Chicago 

The Community Health Partnership of Illinois is using its funding to maintain and expand oral health services for the uninsured and underserved, including children of rural, migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The funds will allow the partnership to hire a part-time dentist so patients can continue to be served in a timely manner. In addition, the partnership plans to upgrade its heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at its largest site to better prevent spreading viral and bacterial infections. 

Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola 

Douglas County Health Department serves Douglas County and four bordering counties, providing care to some of the most vulnerable populations including the uninsured, underinsured and individuals with special needs. This grant will be used for new equipment, including a non-invasive panoramic machine, which helps make it easier to deliver X-rays and other imaging for children.   

Howard Brown Health Center, Chicago

Howard Brown Health Center delivers health services to patients in areas disproportionately affected by health disparities at 11 clinical sites throughout Chicago, with a focus on the LGBTQ community, its allies and people with HIV/AIDS. This grant will support staff and construction costs for the health center’s newly opened pediatric dental suite in Englewood, as well as costs for personal protective equipment. 

Macon County Health Department, Decatur 

The Macon County Health Department Dental Clinic is a six-unit dental clinic with digital radiograph and computer software. The grant will be used to support the clinic’s operation and ensure that its 1,800 patients and many others who have called the clinic in search of a dental home receive the care they need. 

Macoupin Community Health Centers Inc, Carlinville 

The Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc. serves 15 counties and about 5,300 dental patients each year. More than half of those served are children. The health centers are planning to add a four-chair dental clinic facility in Litchfield with a goal of opening by Jan. 31. The grant will support the new clinic’s staff during implementation and ongoing operations and help purchase personal protective equipment and aerosol-reducing dental instruments. 

Pillars Community Health, La Grange 

Funding from this grant will help with operating support for Pillars, ensuring it can retain staff and meet demand for oral health services in the coming year for individuals needing care in western Cook and eastern DuPage counties.   

Primecare Community Health Inc., Chicago 

Primecare Community Health Inc. will apply its grant toward dental supplies for preventive, restorative and emergency care. The funding will assist air ventilation and/or filtration systems that reduce airborne pathogens in exam areas. The grant will also be used to support dental staff at the West Town clinic.

Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon 

The Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center is located between Charleston and Mattoon and serves a 10-county area. Sarah Bush Lincoln Dental Services is an outreach program of the health center that delivers oral health services and education to low-income children through dental clinics and mobile care units. The center will use its funding to help purchase additional personal protective equipment and disinfectant to continue to provide services to the thousands of individuals it serves. 

Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation, Carterville 

Shawnee Health Service and Development Corporation provides quality oral health care to southern Illinois and southwestern Indiana residents. The grant will help support dental staff to ensure it continues to provide quality dental health care for its patients, especially children. 

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, School of Allied Health, Carbondale 

The Southern Illinois University Center for Family Medicine has 14 clinics currently located in Springfield, Quincy, Decatur, Carbondale, Jacksonville and Lincoln and offers special programs for low-income and uninsured patients. This health center will use its grant to support a dentist and hygienist in Logan County to ensure children have access to oral health services. 

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Chicago 

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the UIC College of Dentistry is the largest provider of dental care for underserved children in Illinois. Grant funding will cover costs of additional required personal protective equipment, as well as powered air-purifying respirators that are crucial to ensure viable operations.

University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry — Mile Square Health Center, Rockford

The Mile Square Health Center will offer dental services in Rockford by transitioning the LP Johnson outpatient facility on the campus of Swedish American Hospital. The grant will be used to help convert three existing medical exam rooms into dental operatories, including providing dental chairs, dental delivery carts, radiographic imaging devices and sterilization equipment. The Rockford center will serve an area that is lacking dental care, with the goal of increasing the number of school-aged children who have a dental home. 

VNA Health Care, Aurora 

VNA Health Care was founded in 1918 during the Spanish flu pandemic to provide health care services to those in need. The grant will be used to help cover expenses associated with the general operations of its dental program, located in its largest health center in Aurora. 

About Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) has a single vision: Every child in Illinois grows up healthy. Working through grantee partners across the state, the Foundation focuses its grant making on identifying and funding solutions to the barriers that prevent children from accessing the ongoing health care they need. ILCHF is the only statewide private foundation focused solely on improving the health of all children in the State of Illinois. ILCHF was created in December 2002 through an action of then Attorney General Jim Ryan and an Illinois insurance carrier. This action and a settlement of approximately $125 million established the Foundation’s endowment.  From 2002 into 2020, Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation has awarded nearly $100 million in grants that has been invested in programs aimed at improving children’s overall health in Illinois, with a focus in oral health and mental health. For more information, go to www.ilchf.org

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation

The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 by Delta Dental of Illinois, a not-for-profit dental service corporation with a mission to improve overall health and well-being. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $11 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information about Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, please see www.deltadentalil.com

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