RMHF recognizes that oral health affects individuals’ overall health and is linked to a number of chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer, as well as emotional well-being. The 2016 Virginia Oral Health Report Card showed that a considerable number of adults in Virginia have no dental coverage, and there are significant oral health disparities among African Americans and Hispanic adults. Even with Virginia’s Medicaid expansion, the need to improve access to oral health care to reduce heath disparities still exists, especially since there is no comprehensive Medicaid adult dental benefit.

In response to the recommendations of both cohorts of our Equity + Health Fellows, we will significantly increase RMHF’s investments to support policy and advocacy work. Within the Access to Health Care portfolio, we have committed about 25 percent of our dollars targeting Oral Health to support policy and advocacy efforts.

RMHF Trustees recently approved the following Access to Oral Health Care grant applications totaling $410,000 over two years. These grants are mission-aligned with RMHF and work towards reducing oral health disparities for socioeconomically disadvantaged, marginalized and/or vulnerable populations including people of color, new immigrants, older adults and people with disabilities.

Organization Name: Capital Area Health Network 
Program Title: Accessing Oral Health Through Effective Outreach
Amount: $70,000 over two years for general operating support.

Organization Name: GoochlandCares 
Program Title: Oral Health Promotion Program
Amount: $70,000 over two years for general operating support.

Organization Name: Lucy Corr Foundation 
Program Title: Providing Free Oral Health Care to Uninsured Seniors to Secure Health Equity in the Richmond Metropolitan Region
Amount: $80,000 over two years for general operating support.

Organization Name: Special Olympics Virginia 
Program Title: Increasing Oral Health Access to People with Intellectual Disabilities and Building Capacity
Amount: $20,000 over two years for general operating support.

Organization Name: Virginia Dental Association Foundation 
Program Title: Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable Populations
Amount: $50,000 over two years.

Organization Name: Virginia Health Catalyst
Program Title: Comprehensive Dental Coverage for All Medicaid-Enrolled Adults
Amount: $90,000 over 2 years for general operating support.