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Deaconess Awards More than $1 Million in Grants for Primary & Oral Care

Multiple Northern Kentucky organizations and programs will benefit from more than $1 million in grants awarded by Deaconess Associations Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Deaconess Associations.

The grants, which focus on primary care and oral health services, will provide services to the underserved neighborhoods and at-risk individuals across the region. 

“The need in our region is great. Out of the 2.2 million people in Deaconess' nine county focus area, approximately 39% fall within the federal poverty threshold. Over half are not served by health centers. Approximately 7,000 individuals in this area are homeless—and these are figures which are on the rise,” said Tony Woods, executive chairman of Deaconess Associations Foundation, citing data from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). “These grants will help support a diverse group of individuals who would otherwise go without much-needed healthcare,” said Woods.  

“Providing increased access to primary care and oral health services is a critical component of an individual’s overall health and well-being. Supporting these nonprofits that are making an impact on improving the health of underserved individuals aligns with the mission of Deaconess: to improve community health by making healthcare more accessible for those in need,” said Woods. 

“Recognizing that community providers are well qualified to support particular healthcare needs specific to the communities they serve, the grants and their programs help at-risk populations meet basic healthcare needs, fill voids in treatment, and build alliances among community providers. The programs also encourage prevention, promote a higher quality of life and educate individuals to make healthier decisions.”

Eight area organizations were awarded grants for oral health initiatives. Those recipients include: 

  • The HealthCare Connection – Mt. Healthy Family Practice was awarded $200,000 for its dental clinic in Mt. Healthy for low-income families and individuals 

  • Good Samaritan Free Clinic was awarded $111,000 for its dental clinic for the uninsured

  • Centerpoint Health was awarded $100,000 for its school-based dental clinic for Norwood City Schools and the underserved in the community 

  • Cincinnati Health Network was awarded $100,000 for the McMicken Integrated Care Clinic to offer dental services to the homeless

  • CincySmiles Foundation was awarded $85,000 for its mobile dental program for the underserved in rural counties near Greater Cincinnati

  • Northern Kentucky Health Department was awarded $80,000 for urgent dental care services for uninsured children in Northern Kentucky’s Covington Independent Public Schools

  • Primary Health Solutions was awarded $50,000 for its mobile dental services for low-income students in Butler County

  • Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky was awarded $20,000 for oral hygiene kits for 3,500 Meals on Wheels clients

The Northern Kentucky Health Department is an example of an organization that will be providing care services in addition to educational services with the grant funds. 

"This funding will be used to directly provide uninsured children in the Covington Independent Public Schools much needed dental treatment that they have been unable to access due to financial and/or social restrictions,” said Linda Poynter, Oral Health Program Manager at the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

“By partnering with local pediatric dentists, a safety net dental clinic, the school district and a social service agency that serves the Latino community, we anticipate the resolution of oral health inequities for 30 students. Education for parents and caregivers will enable this community to learn prevention methods in order to ensure a lifetime of improved oral health habits,” added Poynter. 

In addition, Deaconess Associations Foundation awarded four other organizations with grants to support primary care service initiatives. Those recipients include:

  • St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy was awarded $125,000 for patients in need of primary care services 

  • Talbert House was awarded $100,000 for its Integrated Health Clinic for the underinsured and uninsured in Brown County 

  • Cincinnati Union Bethel was awarded $62,000 for its Off the Streets program for women who have been trafficked

  • The Care Center of Loveland was awarded $36,800 to provide primary care services to the uninsured who are a part of the community near Northstar Church 

Woods said these grants focus on supporting Butler, Clermont, Hamilton, and Warren County in Ohio; Dearborn County in Indiana; and Boone, Campbell, and Kenton County in Kentucky. “We estimate that nearly 15,000 individuals across these counties will be impacted by these grants and programs in the first year alone,” said Woods. 

Deaconess Associations Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Deaconess Associations, Inc., invests in community health initiatives that provide healthcare access and education to the underserved. Since 2012, Deaconess Associations Foundation has made nearly $15 million in grants to improve the health of the community.

-Staff report

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