The Dental Lifeline Network – Illinois (formerly the Illinois Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped) recently unveiled a new van, which will be used to take mobile dental equipment to homebound patients and others throughout the tri-county area who can not easily travel to a dentist’s office for treatment. Dental Lifeline Network – Illinois received a $5,000 grant from the Chicago Dental Society Foundation to support its local Dental HouseCalls program.
“The old van just fell apart,” said president Fred Leviton, visiting from Colorado to unveil the van at the Chicago Dental Society’s Nov. 19 Regional Meeting at Drury Lane. “It had 150,000 miles on it and was 10 years old. But this new van will see about 1,000 patients and travel 12,000 miles over the next year.”
Through the Dental HouseCalls Program, a fully equipped, portable dental office is transported by van and set up bedside or in a long-term care facility so that dentists can care for the residents. A full-time coordinator drives the van, sets up and dismantles the equipment, and helps the dentist chairside. Five dentists provided care last year, either donating or substantially discounting their services.
“The CDS Foundation and its donors are proud to continue the philanthropic ideals of CDS and honored to support Dental Lifeline Network and ensure that it continues to have the tools it needs to provide quality dental care to its patients in our communities,” said CDS Foundation Executive Director Rodney Watt. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with them and we wish them continued success in their work with those who need us most.”
Dental Lifeline Network had long received funding from the State of Illinois, through the Health Department, but like many other state-funded programs the grant was reduced in this time of financial crisis.
“We’ve really been struggling since then. It slowed the pace at which we clear patients for treatment,” Mr. Leviton said, referring to the process that screens patients for eligibility before they are paired with a participating dentist. “In addition, many other grantmakers like to seed projects but don’t like to support projects forever; they like to get more projects going.”
Learn more at DentalLifeline.org.Pictured above (L-R): CDS Foundation vice chair Mildred Goldstein, CDS Foundation chair George Zehak, CDS president Ian Elliott and CDS secretary David Fulton Jr.