ADA Foundation Names Give Kids A Smile® Continuity of Care Grant Recipients

Funds to help three GKAS programs establish dental homes for kids in need.

The ADA Foundation has named three organizations as recipients of its 2018 Give Kids A Smile Continuity of Care Grants, with the goal of helping these established Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) programs provide a dental home to kids in need after their initial GKAS visit.

Children’s Dental Health Services (Minnesota) will receive a $10,000 grant, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Foundation will receive a $12,500 grant, and the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic will receive a $20,000 grant.

Children’s Dental Services

Grant amount: $10,000

Children’s Dental Services (CDS) will provide restorative dental care and other oral health services for about 500 underserved children ages 0 (birth) to 26 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area through its 2018 Give Kids A Smile program. The grant funding will help CDS provide services including exams, X-rays, cleanings, sealants, fluoride application, oral health education, nitrous sedation, extractions, fillings, pulpotomies, and emergency care. CDS will serve as a dental home by creating ongoing records for all GKAS patients, providing an integrated, supportive environment through which a full range of site-based dental care will be provided.

“Providing a full range of ongoing care and completing treatment plans provides the best oral health outcomes for the children we serve, and would not be possible without the support of this ADA Foundation grant,” said Sarah Wovcha, CDS executive director.

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Foundation

Grant amount: $12,500

The LSU Department of Pediatric Dentistry (LSUSDPD) partners each year with the New Orleans Dental Association (NODA) for Give Kids A Smile Day. Their 2018 program will serve approximately 200 children at a local school that has a high proportion of children of recent immigrants. Many of these children were impacted by the devastating local flooding in August 2017. Historically, children from this school have a high disease burden and many have barriers to follow-up care because they are subject to a five-year waiting period and are not yet eligible for Medicaid. About 50 children currently receive needed restorative and surgical care following this GKAS program; the grant funding will allow program coordinators to provide comprehensive care to an anticipated 50 additional children following the 2018 event.

“Many dentists feel that access to care is not a problem for poor children due to government programs and safety net clinics. However, there is a large, silent population of children who fall through these gaps and suffer due to lack of care despite their parents’ best efforts,” said Janice Townsend, D.D.S., M.S., associate professor and chair of the LSU School of Dentistry’s Department of Pediatric Dentistry. “Our whole school is proud to serve these children and get them on track to have healthy teeth for a lifetime.”

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Grant amount: $20,000

The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC) will serve 75 low-income American Indian families with children ages 0 (birth) to 17 years through its Give Kids A Smile program providing dental screenings, sealants, fluoride applications, restorative care, extractions, and healthy dental hygiene demonstrations. This population has proven to be disproportionately susceptible to poor oral health; a 2010 survey by the Indian Health Service found 39 percent of American Indian children ages 2-5 in Oklahoma City have had dental caries, compared to a national rate of 27 percent. At least half of patients served during their GKAS 2017 experienced their first dental care visit. The project will provide continuity of care to children seen during the GKAS program by providing follow-up treatment for 67 patients during the 12-month period after the event.

 “Preventive care is critical to maintaining good dental health and overall well-being,” said OKCIC Dental Director Mona Farzaneh-Joseph, D.D.S. “It’s important to educate children and parents about proper dental care to reduce and help prevent tooth decay and other serious issues that can arise from inadequate care. Give Kids A Smile Day allows us to do just that.”

“The ADA Foundation received 38 project proposals for the 2018 GKAS Continuity of Care Grants. Each of them had merit, demonstrating a commitment by the profession to improve access to care and educating the public about that need,” said Mary J. Hayes, D.D.S., M.S., Chair of the ADA Foundation’s Access to Care and Education Committee. “The Committee made the decision to fund these three programs for 2018, and we look forward to their success.”

To learn more about this and other ADA Foundation programs, or to make a donation, visit

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn 

About the ADA Foundation
As dentistry’s premier philanthropic and charitable organization, the ADA Foundation is a catalyst for uniting people and organizations to invest in better oral health for all, together. The ADA Foundation annually provides more than $2 million in grants, scholarships, awards, and facilitated in-kind product donations to programs that are in alignment with the organization’s efforts to advance oral health, expand access to dental care, and drive game-changing research. As part of these efforts, the ADA Foundation oversees the Give Kids A Smile® program and also oversees the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland (formerly the Paffenbarger Research Center). For more information about the ADA Foundation, visit

About Give Kids A Smile®
The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program is one of the world’s largest oral health charitable programs. Launched nationally by the American Dental Association in 2003, Give Kids A Smile is an access-to-care endeavor designed to encourage parents, health professionals, and policymakers to address the year-round need for oral health care and education for all children. Each year the Give Kids A Smile program supports approximately 10,000 dentists, 30,000 dental team members, and other community volunteers in providing free oral health care services including exams, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, crowns, and extractions, to more than 350,000 children from low-income families across the country. To find out more about Give Kids A Smile, visit