The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 Expanding Access to Dental Care Grant to the Forsyth Institute in Cambridge, MA, on behalf of the ForsythKids Program. These funds will be used to provide oral health care to middle school students in the city of Lynn. “This grant allows our team the wonderful opportunity to support high-risk children and their oral health during a critical time in their lives. Bringing care to middle school children is essential because children transition completely to adult teeth at this age,” shared ForsythKids Public Health Dentist Helen Nguyen, MPH, DDS. This expansion will allow a continuum in oral health care and education for grades 1-12 in the city of Lynn.
The mission of the MDS Foundation is to improve the oral health of residents across Massachusetts by supporting sustainable programs that enhance access to dental care. “Expanding the Lynn program to serve all students will have a ripple effect on that community,” shared MDS Foundation Chair Dr. Robert Lewando. “The Foundation is proud to support this dynamic program which can quickly refocus efforts to where there is a need. This program encompasses the essence of our mission.”
With the potential to reach 600-800 new patients, the grant will be used to maintain the quality of care for the current population, target more at-risk children for treatment, and continue operating a sustainable service model. Dr. Nguyen added, “We are grateful for the MDS Foundation’s support because it allows us to serve more children that may not have had access to dental care otherwise. Our goal is to protect as many teeth as we can, and this support allows us the opportunity to instill good oral hygiene habits and provide services that help keep smiles healthy long-term.”
The ForsythKids portable dental program provides preventive oral health care and education to underserved children throughout the Commonwealth. The program focuses efforts on patient populations with poorer oral health and more significant challenges to accessing dental care, such as children living in poverty, communities of color, and patients with disabilities. The ForsythKids staff sets up functioning dental offices with up to five chairs in almost any space, including a school stage, gymnasium, or resource room.
The MDS Foundation is the charitable arm of the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS). The MDS Foundation recently awarded almost $80,000 in Access to Dental Care Grants to six organizations in Massachusetts and two Targeted Grants to two Massachusetts oral-health-focused initiatives. The Foundation is dedicated to directing its charitable resources to improve the oral health of Massachusetts residents. To learn more, visit massdental.org/Foundation.