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$3.3M Federal Grant to Nonprofit Will Improve Oral Health of Native Americans

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Delta Dental of South Dakota was selected as one of 26 organizations across the country to receive a Health Care Innovation Award to improve the oral health of Native Americans, the Associated Press reported.

The $3.3 million grant to Delta Dental will fund a three-year project to train 24 dental hygienists and community health representatives to address community-based care and provide preventive oral health care to American Indian mothers, their children, and American Indian people with diabetes. The project aims to reduce the incidence of dental disease, and consequently, decrease the need for expensive surgeries, reported the AP.

The Health Care Innovation Award, made possible by the health care law the Affordable Care Act, provided grants to 26 entities across the country, states a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services news release. The awards are given to entities to address the needs of a wide range of population groups, such as low-income families and individuals, the elderly, pregnant women, infants, adolescents, minorities and individuals with special health care needs, states PRNewswire.

Headquarted in Pierre, South Dakota, Delta Dental is a not-for-profit corporation that has provided dental insurance to its customers since 1963.

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On April 26, Delta Dental sponsored a Native American Oral Health Summit along with the American Dental Association. Hosted by the South Dakota Oral Health Coalition's Native American Work Group, it focused on improving dental health disparities faced by Native Americans in the state, the AP reported last month.