Improving Access to Care
Through research, education, and outreach, the Benevis Foundation seeks to improve dental care access and outcomes for underserved communities in the United States.
The Benevis Foundation sponsors ongoing research on the role of Medicaid dental providers in improving access to preventative care, early intervention, and dental health education among traditionally underserved pediatric populations. The Benevis Foundation also conducts research on the cost savings associated with improving access to dental care among these patient populations in both federal and state healthcare systems. Through these research efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to provide data that informs and strengthens public policy related to dental access and affordability.
Education is essential to our mission of improving dental health access and outcomes among underserved communities. For patients, the foundation sponsors dental health education events and resources, including dental health lesson plans for K–5 classrooms. In 2014, our lesson plans were used by more than 1,200 teachers, reaching more than 34,000 students nationwide. For dentists, we offer a robust curriculum of ongoing continuing education courses. The foundation supports the next generation of pediatric dentists through donations to clinical training programs, including a recent $25,000 grant to Louisiana State University’s School of Dentistry.
The Benevis Foundation supports a number of community outreach programs led by our affiliate dental providers, including Operation Troop Treats, the largest Halloween candy buy-back program by a dental organization in the United States. In partnership with Operation Gratitude, the Kool Smiles program encourages healthy habits at home while supporting American troops serving abroad. The Benevis Foundation also provides monetary and logistical support for Sharing Smiles Day, a national day of free dental care for children. In 2015 alone, more than 450 children without dental insurance received much needed dental care at no cost during Sharing Smiles Day. By supporting these outreach efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to bring healthier smiles to children and families everywhere.
Community and Giving
Benevis is committed to making a difference in the community and we encourage our affiliated offices to be active participants in the communities they serve. We’re proud to partner with our offices for several major initiatives throughout the year. Operation Troop Treats is a nationwide candy exchange program that sends candy and dental supplies to our troops serving overseas. Kool Smiles offices have collected over 3 tons of candy to date for this important program.
Throughout the year, we offer free lessons plans and toothbrushes for teachers to share with their classroom, as well as visiting many schools to promote good oral health. Perhaps most rewarding is the $18 million dollars of uncompensated care provided by Kool Smiles dentists in 2013. Benevis and its clients take great pride in giving back to the communities we serve and look forward to continuing this rewarding work.