Dental health is a fundamental part of overall health and well-being, yet many people, particularly those in rural and low-income areas, do not have access to dental care. A dental mobile clinic can make a significant difference in improving oral health outcomes for underserved populations. However, the cost of starting and operating a mobile clinic can be prohibitive. Fortunately, federal and state grant opportunities are available to support the establishment, expansion, and operation of dental mobile clinics. In this blog post, we will explore some of the grant options available from the AAPD Foundation, CareQuest Foundation, RHIhub, and HRSA Dentistry/Oral Health grants.
1. AAPD Foundation: Having issued nearly $8 million in grants and commitments to 153 organizations in 36 states and the District of Columbia since 2010, the AAPD Foundation is a great place to start for someone looking for a grant for their mobile clinic. These grants are designed to help health centers purchase equipment and supplies needed for mobile dental services as well as support personnel training and continuing education programs. For more information on these grants, click here!
2. CareQuest Foundation: The CareQuest Foundation is committed to advancing oral health equity in the United States. The Foundation provides grants to organizations that work to improve the oral health of vulnerable and underserved populations, including those that operate dental mobile clinics. One example of a grant from the DentaQuest Foundation is the Emergent & Relief Fund, which seeks to improve oral health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of oral health and promoting community-based solutions and "innovative approaches to support the ongoing response by the oral health field to transform and meet the needs of consumers within, and beyond, the pandemic".
3. RHIhub: The Rural Health Information Hub is a national resource that provides information and assistance to organizations that serve rural communities. The RAC maintains a comprehensive list of federal funding opportunities that support rural health initiatives, including dental mobile clinics. One example of a grant program available through the RAC is the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Grant Program, which provides funding to rural communities to establish or expand access to health care services, including oral health services, through the use of telehealth, mobile clinics, or other innovative delivery models.
4. HRSA Dentistry/Oral Health grants: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) funds a range of grant programs that support oral health initiatives, including those that support dental mobile clinics. One example of a grant program available through HRSA n is the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part F Community Based Dental Partnership Program, which provides funding to support comprehensive oral health care services, including mobile dental services, for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Establishing and operating a dental mobile clinic can be challenging, but federal and state grant opportunities can help healthcare organizations overcome financial obstacles. By taking advantage of these grants, organizations can create sustainable dental programs that provide care to underserved populations. Healthcare organizations should explore the different grant options available and apply for the ones that best fit their needs. Together, these grants can make a significant difference in improving access to dental care and promoting better oral health outcomes for all.