DentaQuest Foundation Announces $2 Million Grant Component to Oral Health 2020

DentaQuest Foundation Announces $2 Million Grant Component to Oral Health 2020

April 22, 2016

The DentaQuest Foundation today announced a $2 million in funding to support its Grassroots Engagement Initiative. The Grassroots initiative launched as part of the Oral Health 2020 network in 2015 and partners with 20 community-based organizations in six states to emphasize oral health in existing outreach efforts, and engage community members to change the systems impacting oral health.

“Community engagement is changing the conversation around oral health, into a discussion of health equity,” said Ralph Fuccillo, president of the DentaQuest Foundation. “The Grassroots Engagement Initiative brings a critical voice to this conversation – that of those most impacted by poor oral health.”

A focus for grantees during the first year of the initiative was to conduct local landscape assessments in an attempt to form a comprehensive understanding of local oral health needs, in order to develop community-engaged solutions. Findings from their surveys showed that barriers to oral health care and education exist, often due to cost. However, the severity of these conditions leave people with  few or no options for oral health services, putting community members in the position of seeking care outside of the country, visiting unlicensed providers (clandestinos), having to choose between their monthly living expenses and costly treatment, or, ultimately, going without care.

The second year will of the grant will act upon the learnings of year one and begin to equip and empower community members with the skills and resources needed to develop solutions to eliminate disparities and improve oral health.

“This is a time for action,” said Fuccillo. “The success of the bold targets set forth in Oral Health 2020 will depend on collaboration amongst a growing network of partners. We are so fortunate to have such a dynamic group contributing at the grassroots level.”

The grantees for this initiative are based in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. They include:


  • Asian Pacific Community in Action
  • Children’s Action Alliance
  • Native American Connections


  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
  • Tides Center/Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
  • Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education 
  • Vision y Compromiso
  • Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI)


  • Catalyst Miami c/o Human Services Coalition of Dade County, Inc.
  • Tampa Bay Healthcare Collaborative


  • Kent County Health Department
  • Voices of Detroit Initiative


  • Berks County Community Foundation
  • Put People First! PA c/o National Economic and Social Rights Initiative


  • Petersburg Wellness Consortium
  • Southwest Virginia Area Health Education Center
  • Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula
  • United Way of Roanoke Valley


The DentaQuest Foundation is the leading U.S. philanthropy focused solely on oral health. The Foundation is supporting the development of the Oral Health 2020 network, a group of partners committed to working collectively at the national, state and community levels to eradicate dental disease in children and improve lifelong oral health. The DentaQuest Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DentaQuest. To learn more, visit: Follow the DentaQuest Foundation on Twitter,@OralHealth2020, and visit our Facebook page.


CONTACT: Katie Leonard


PHONE: (617) 886-1125