Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Announces New Health Equity Grant Program

Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Announces New Health Equity Grant Program

Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation Announces New Health Equity Grant Program
Approximately $4 Million Dollars in Grant Funding to Help Illinois’ Children

(Oak Brook, IL) – June 28, 2021 – Today, the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) and Delta Dental Foundation of Illinois (DDILF) announce the creation of new health equity grant program to assist organizations working to improve the oral and overall health of children impacted by poverty. Both foundations are contributing approximately $2 million dollars each in order to support the new initiative. In total, grant allocations of up to $200,000 will be awarded to each organization and must be used within two years (up to $100,000 per year). Eligible organizations must work in Illinois communities where children may not be able to access quality, comprehensive oral health services as a result of systemic health and social inequities. 

“Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some racial and ethnic groups along with rural residents at increased risk of suffering from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” advised Heather Higgins Alderman, ILCHF’s President. “The challenges brought forward, as a result of the pandemic exacerbated the existing disparities associated with the physical, social, and cultural environments preventing children from accessing quality, comprehensive oral health services,” Alderman added.

According to the Healthy Smiles Healthy Growth 2018-2019 report co-funded by DDILF, the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute and ILCHF, “Low-income children and minority children have a lower prevalence of dental sealants, a higher burden of disease and have significant unmet (oral health) treatment needs.  The assessment goes on to state, “Dental caries concentrate in population groups such as among those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, are of racial or ethnic minority populations and are geographically isolated.”    

“This RFP provides an opportunity to listen to communities impacted by COVID-19 and poverty in an effort to foster innovation and empower communities to achieve long-lasting positive oral health outcomes for children in Illinois’ most impacted communities,” Alderman concluded.

“Through the Health Equity Grant Program, we hope to address disparities that prevent Illinois children from accessing oral health care and education in the state’s most vulnerable communities,” added Bob Egan, ILCHF’s Senior Program Officer for Oral Health. “We know communities have faced barriers and challenges in providing vital oral health services and education to children and their caregivers. We hope these grants will help address that, while working toward our vision that every child in Illinois  grow up healthy,” Egan continued.

“We continue to strive for health equity for children throughout the state as part of our mission to improve the oral and overall health of Illinoisans,” said Lora Vitek, Executive Director of Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. “This new grant program allows us to make another significant difference in the lives of children who face inequities exacerbated by poverty and the COVID-19 pandemic. It also furthers our goal of ensuring that all children have access to the health care they need.”

Organizations may apply for Health Equity Grants which are due on August 2nd here.


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. Since its 2002 inception, ILCHF has awarded more than $37 million in grants related to children’s oral health. For more information, go to

About Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation
The Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation was formed in March 2008 and is the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of Delta Dental of Illinois. Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation works to support and improve the oral health of people in Illinois, with a specific focus on children. In the past decade, combined efforts of Delta Dental of Illinois and Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation have provided more than $15 million to programs and organizations in Illinois that improve the oral health of the state’s residents. For additional information, visit

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