Children's Health

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital receives grant from Delta Dental Foundation to improve oral health in Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., February 8, 2017– Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Oral Health Initiative recently received a $3,000 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation to help provide pediatric patients with take-home oral health kits (an age appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste and floss), along with instructions on maintaining good oral hygiene and referrals to community resources.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this new level of care at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital,” said Bob Connors, MD, president, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “Thank you to the Delta Dental Foundation for partnering on this important initiative. Together we are improving the health of the communities we serve.”

The Delta Dental Foundation is focused on ensuring that children and adults in Michigan receive high-quality oral health education and dental care. Through its Brighter Futures initiative, Delta Dental is committed to improving people’s oral and overall health and well-being through advocacy, education and philanthropy.

Typically, medical providers do not provide oral health treatment, and not all dental offices in our region accept Medicaid, putting many children at increased risk for dental and oral complications. Providers at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital are now able to offer prevention and early intervention to burgeoning oral health issues while encouraging good oral health hygiene habits that will last into adulthood.

“We are pleased to provide funding to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital,” said Teri Battaglieri, Delta Dental Foundation director. “Early prevention is key. With the efforts of this pediatric oral health initiative, we can begin education children early on about good oral health habits so they grow up health and avoid serious, painful and expensive health issues down the road.”

About The Delta Dental Foundation

The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science, and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of 12 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 180 ambulatory and service sites; 3,600 physicians and advanced practice providers, including 1,500 members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group; and Priority Health, a health plan that served 996,000 members in fiscal year 2017. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer, with 26,000 employees. The organization provided $372 million in community benefit during its 2017 fiscal year. Spectrum Health was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems—and in the top five among the largest health systems—in 2017 by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM. This is the sixth time the organization has received this recognition.

Rick Jensen
Media Relations
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