The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation today announced it has given $1 million to the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry to create the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation Endowed Scholarship for Opportunity. The scholarships will be awarded to at least two students annually who have experienced financial hardships, have an interest in working in underserved areas and demonstrate high academic achievement. The first recipients will be named in fall 2020.
By focusing on students interested in working in underserved areas, Delta Dental and UCSF hope to help address the maldistribution of dental practitioners, which creates severe barriers to accessing care. As oral health and overall health are inextricably linked, a lack of preventive dental care can result in compounding gaps in health outcomes.
“The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is committed to increasing access to oral health care, including reducing financial barriers faced by those who want to join the dental profession,” said Kenzie Ferguson, vice president of corporate social responsibility and foundation for Delta Dental of California. “Educating the next generation of dental providers and ensuring opportunity for students who are eager to serve vulnerable populations is core to our values, and partnering with academic institutions, like UCSF, is one way we achieve that mission.”
“Not only does will this scholarship make it possible for underprivileged students to pursue their dreams, it also will help us improve the health of underserved communities,” says Dean Michael Reddy, DMD, DMSc. “These students will go on to increase access to oral health care and eliminate health disparities in their communities.”
The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation strives to build caring, resilient communities and works to address inequities, so all can lead healthy lives with dignity. It partners with local communities to fund initiatives that increase access to care, expand and support oral health education and fund important research. The partnership with UCSF touches on all three objectives, and this scholarship expands and deepens the relationship between the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation and UCSF School of Dentistry. The foundation has sponsored the university’s Student Leadership program for nearly a decade and in recent years has provided funding for its dental clinic and Summer Research Fellowship Program.
About Delta Dental Community Care Foundation
The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation partners with local communities to increase access to care, support dental education, and fund research that advances the oral health field. Since 2011, the foundation has awarded more than $40 million across 15 states and the District of Columbia. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of California and its affiliated companies, including Delta Dental Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Pennsylvania, and Delta Dental of New York, Inc.
About UCSF School of Dentistry
As a vital part of a world-renowned health sciences campus, the UCSF School of Dentistry is a preeminent institution for research, patient care, public service and graduate education grounded in oral health. A pioneer in oral sciences, the school places a particular emphasis on preventive dental care, craniofacial research and integration of oral and overall health. The school’s faculty members stand among the nation’s most prominent leaders in clinical care, research and academia, and are dedicated to training the next generation of rising talent.