A look back can sharpen perspective and offer valuable insight. By key measures, a recount of the last year by the ADA Foundation revealed plenty of good news.
For one, in approaching its mission to promote oral health as embodied in the acronym CARE—or charitable assistance, access to care, research, and education—the Foundation added two new giving programs. As well, the Foundation delivered robust assistance through its existing programs in 2014.
Looking back a bit further to 2013—the most recent year for which full data is available—the ADA Foundation awarded $1,371,463 in grants, scholarships, and awards, positively impacting thousands of lives in America and even abroad. Generous funding from corporate, institutional, industrial and individual contributors fueled all of the Foundation’s work, allowing for more than $380,000 more in giving than in the previous year, 2012.
“Every single dollar raised goes to support programs, not administrative costs,” said ADA Foundation Executive Director Gene Wurth.
2014 is on target, too, as two new programs have launched.
The two new programs that the Foundation added in 2014 are the Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program, established in honor of the two-term past ADAF president who ended his tenure this year, and the ADA Foundation Semi-annual Grant Program.
Here are details:
Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program
The ADA Foundation announced the Dr. David Whiston Leadership Program on Oct. 9 during the ADA meeting in San Antonio. The DWLP will provide at least one award of up to $5,000 annually to young dentists who have shown the potential for leadership in the profession and wish to develop their leadership skills. The ADAF has already received more than $100,000 in donations for this program, which will launch in early 2015. In addition, Henry Schein, Inc. has announced that the company will donate $5,000 annually for at least the next five years to create the matching award, the ADAF Henry Schein Dr. David Whiston Leadership Award. The ADA Foundation’s goal is to raise another $100,000 in order to support even more young leaders.
ADA Foundation Semi-annual Grant Program
The ADAF also introduced the Semi-annual Grant Program in 2014, through which the ADAF accepts grant proposals for activities not covered by other existing grant program. The ADAF will consider proposals for programs that fall under its Education mission pillar in early 2015 (deadline: Jan. 30), and for proposals that fall under its Access to Care pillar next summer (application deadline: July 31). Nineteen organizations received ADAF Semi-annual Grants in 2014.
The ADA Foundation’s four mission pillars, as reflected in the acronym CARE, are:
Through its Relief Grant program, the ADAF provides financial assistance to dentists and their dependents who, because of accidental injury, a medical condition, disability or advanced age, are unable to afford basic living expenses. The ADAF also provides Emergency Disaster Grants to eligible dentists for items such as food, bottled water, clothing, blankets, medicines and medical supplies, emergency shelter, and toiletries, in the case of a declared emergency.
Access to Care
The ADAF supports access to care initiatives through a variety of programs.
“An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure,” said Dr. Reneida Reyes, President, ADA Foundation. “The ADA Foundation has a strong commitment to improving access to care, especially for children. Every single dollar that we put to use toward early intervention, education, and early risk assessment saves many dollars in terms of catastrophic care. Investing in wellness is critically important to our mission.”
Two ADAF programs provide funding for volunteer dental school student community outreach programs, through which students work with their university mentors to provide care to people in need: the E. “Bud” Tarrson Dental School Student Community Leadership Award, which provides an annual grant of $5,000 to one exemplary student volunteer community service project domestically; and the Dr. Thomas J. Zwemer Award, which provides an annual grant of $5,000 to one volunteer dental student program addressing oral health needs of underserved communities outside of the United States.
ADA Business Resources will provide a generous $25,000 donation to support even more dental student outreach projects through the Tarrson Award program. Similar funding in 2013 allowed the ADA Foundation to present six Tarrson Awards to the following: Harvard School of Dental Medicine for its ACTION program; Indiana University School of Dentistry for its Student Outreach Clinic; University of California at Los Angeles School of Dentistry for its UCLA ASDA Los Angeles Community Clinics; University of Michigan School of Dentistry for its Wolverine Patriot Project; University of Mississippi Medical Center-School of Dentistry for its Jackson Free Clinic; and University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine for the Huntridge Clinics.
The winner of the 2014 Zwemer Award is the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry for its Malawi Dental Project.
In addition, the ADA Foundation provides fundraising support to Give Kids A Smile, the ADA’s premier access to care program.
The ADA Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center has also made great strides. VRC scientists are continuing research on a new, improved, and durable resin-based composite filling material. This research effort is funded by a U01 grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; the goal is to develop a resin system that is biocompatible and will not degrade in the presence of salivary enzymes and water, along with a complementary adhesive system. This project is planned to continue for the next three years.
VRC scientists also are steadily pursuing research projects in point-of-care technologies seeking to determine risk assessment for dry-socket and early childhood caries. Other projects include tissue regeneration to address bone loss in periodontal disease with multi-layered scaffolds as well as pulpal regeneration in affected teeth. Medication-induced xerostomia is an on-going research project with NIDCR scientists. VRC scientists also are working on biofilms and their relationship to restorative dental materials and the development of in vitro biological platforms to assess the biocompatibility of innovative dental materials.
Additionally, the ADA Foundation’s annual Colgate Dental Students’ Conference on Research brought dental students from more than 50 dental schools in the U.S. and Canada to the VRC, as it does annually, to raise awareness of the wide-ranging careers available in oral health research. And, the Foundation again served as a Special Award Organization sponsor for Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Three high school students won a total of $3,500 for their science projects with an oral health focus.
Through the Dental Student Scholarship Program and Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarship Program, including the Dr. Robert B. Dewhirst Scholarships, and the Robert J. Sullivan Scholarships, the ADA Foundation helps academically gifted predoctoral dental students defray a part of their professional education expenses. The Underrepresented Minority Dental Student Scholarship Program targets African-American, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native dental students. Each year, the ADA Foundation awards approximately 54 scholarships valued at up to $2,500 each, providing up to $135,000 in total funding.
In 2014 the ADAF awarded 25 grants for a total of more than $115,000 to organizations engaged in the battle to end early childhood caries through the Samuel D. Harris Fund for Children’s Dental Health, created in 1999 through a permanent endowment established through a generous gift by Dr. Samuel D. Harris, a distinguished pediatric dentist and philanthropist.
As it does annually, in 2014 the Foundation again offered financial support through the Allied Dental Student Scholarship Program to help dental assisting, dental hygiene, and dental laboratory technology students defray a part of their professional educational expenses. Each year, the ADA Foundation awards approximately 30 scholarships valued at up to $1,000 each, with up to $30,000 total funding: Dental Hygiene Student Scholarships, 15 awards; Dental Assisting Student Scholarships, 10 awards; and Dental Laboratory Technology Student Scholarships, five awards.
In 2014, through a gift from Young Dental Inc., the ADAF also awarded two Young Dental Hygiene Scholarships valued at $2,500 each. The winners were selected from among the pool of dental hygiene applicants with a focus on exceptional outreach activities, volunteerism, and leadership qualities.
A tax-deductible contribution to the ADA Foundation can be made by donating at adafoundation.org/en/how-to-help, or by calling the ADA Foundation at (312) 440-2547.
ADA Foundation recap reveals great successes in 2014