Health and Human Services ensures the vitality of the human body and the human spirit. We target health care programs that ensure access to basic health care services to the most vulnerable members of our communities. Groups that successfully provide physical, social, emotional, as well as cognitive development programs have garnered our support. So too have experiential programs that offer disabled or disadvantaged people opportunities they may not have otherwise.
Dental Lifeline Network
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has been a partner of the Dental Lifeline Network for five years supporting the Donated Dental Services program.
Many Montanans with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile suffer from severe dental problems because they cannot afford care. Many cannot work and depend on public aid for health care. Medicare does not cover dental care and Montana’s Medicaid program provides limited dental benefits for adults. Those with disabilities or the aged or ill who can work typically earn enough to get by but expensive dental care is beyond their reach.
Through the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, volunteer dentists and labs donate comprehensive care to restore the oral health of such individuals. DDS patients have extensive dental needs, and most require prostheses fabricated by labs. Unfortunately, many volunteer dentists use particular labs that don’t donate or only discount their fabrications. The dentists are willing to donate thousands of dollars of care but often we must pay for some of the lab fabrications or we cannot take advantage of the donated treatment available.
Low income dental screening
The Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation announced a grant in 2010 that went toward improving the dental health of children in Montana.
Through the foundation’s program, which is called Get on the Right Track, the funds were dispersed to eight Community Health Centers in the state over the span of three years, with the goal of increasing access to dental care for children with no dental insurance, as well as educating parents about the benefits of a clean mouth.