Children in Illinois to Have Healthier Smiles

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 General News
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HINSDALE, Ill., May 12 As part of the Illinois Children'sHealthcare Foundation's (ILCHF) $20 million, five-year initiative to expandaccess to oral health care for Illinois children, the Foundation is pleased toannounce a request for proposals in the oral health care field. The RFPprocess is open to any nonprofit that currently provides primary care servicesdirectly to children or formally collaborates with a primary care provider anddesires to establish a new oral health service, expand existing services in aclinical setting or implement a community planning process. This RFP isexpected to result in ILCHF awarding a number of grants ranging between$50,000 and $300,000.

"Expanding access to quality oral health care for all children in Illinoisis one of the Foundation's primary objectives, along with addressing themental health needs of children and increasing the rate of developmentalscreening of young children," said Dr. Peter E. Doris, chair of ILCHF board ofdirectors. "As a component of ILCHF's oral health care initiative, theFoundation supports programs that are designed to increase the number of oralhealth professionals caring for underserved children."

To encourage an increase in the number of oral health professionalsdedicated to serving children in underserved areas, the Foundation alsoannounces the recent award of $3 million to the two dental schools inIllinois. Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine and theUniversity of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry will each receive$1.5 million over the next several years.

The grant awarded to Southern Illinois University School of DentalMedicine will, over the next six years, allow the School to better preparedentists to provide care for underserved children, primarily in southernIllinois. The University will design and implement a program that modifies theadmission process, updates the curriculum, provides mentoring and support tostudents, expands community-based service-learning opportunities and assessesthe outcomes of the program.

Likewise, the grant awarded to University of Illinois at Chicago, Collegeof Dentistry will support significant changes and enhancements to the existingcommunity-based dental program over the next five years. These changes includea greater emphasis on pediatric dentistry at community sites and earlier, morein-depth exposure to service-learning opportunities for students. TheUniversity expects to graduate professionals with a greater understanding ofthe social dimensions of their profession and who are equipped to participatein the development of solutions for expanding access to oral health care forchildren.

The oral health care RFP is now open and will close June 20, 2008.Grantees can expect to be notified of selection by October 31, 2008. Allinterested applicants should visit to determineeligibility and review the process for online application submission.

About Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation

The Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation was formed in 2003 with onegoal in mind: to improve the health of all Illinois children. Through therelease of targeted RFPs and proactive, ongoing funding, ILCHF works toeliminate the barriers that prevent children from regularly accessinghigh-quality health care. Since 2004, the Foundation has awarded more than$25 million in grants to organizations serving children's health needs acrossthe state. Please visit for more information about theIllinois Children's Healthcare Foundation.

SOURCE Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation

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