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DentaQuest Foundation Launches Grassroots Engagement Initiative

New Strategy Will Focus Support On Community Based Organizations on the Front Lines of Reducing Health Inequities

The DentaQuest Foundation today announced that it has kicked off its new Grassroots Engagement Initiative, a strategic grant-making plan that supports network development and oral health systems change at the community level.  The initiative will be partnering with 20 grantees from six different states.

“This is an innovative and exciting enhancement to the way we think about funding oral health initiatives,” said Ralph Fuccillo, President of the DentaQuest Foundation.  “These grants will engage the kind of grassroots organizations that serve on the front lines of public health.  We look forward to partnering with this diverse and dynamic group of grantees.”

In recent years, the DentaQuest Foundation has focused its grant-making efforts on building the oral health network at the state and national level.  The Grassroots Engagement Initiative now directs that focus to the local level, strategically complimenting the Foundation’s overall mission and giving local organizations a seat at the table when it comes to determining what is needed to enhance oral health across a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Grantees range from direct service providers to advocacy organizations whose missions impact a variety of populations.  The initiative’s aim is to better integrate oral health into an already robust outreach agenda and reinforce how important proper oral care is to overall health.  While these organizations vary in their level of experience when it comes to oral health, each works to promote health equity, and Fuccillo noted that, “all of these grant recipients have a proven record of reducing disparities, so their potential link to oral health was an obvious one.”

The goals of the funding are consistent with the Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 campaign, which emphasizes a reduction in childhood oral disease, inclusion of oral health in the public education system, and expansion of dental benefits under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. 

The recipients of the grants are:


  • 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


  • Pathways-VA, Inc.
  • 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. It is responding to the need to make oral health a priority at the national, state and community levels by fostering the development of a national network of oral health advocates. The DentaQuest Foundation emphasizes prevention, access to oral health care, and partnerships with funders, providers, policymakers and community leaders. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DentaQuest, the third largest oral health enterprise in the United States and the largest in the Medicaid space. To learn more about the DentaQuest Foundation, visit: http://dentaquestfoundation.org/, and to learn more about DentaQuest visit: http://www.dentaquest.com/.

Katie Leonard (617) 886-1125