ROANOKE, Va., April 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Roanoke-based Delta Dental of Virginia, the state's largest dental benefits provider, is responding to the COVID-19 crisis with a $1 million contribution to support Virginia's dental practices and their patients, provide financial assistance for safety net dental clinics, and support local non-profits working to meet needs in their communities.
"The world seems to have changed overnight, and we want to do all we can to protect our employees, dentists and customers," said Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia. "As a Virginia-based company we're in a unique position to observe the needs in our communities. That's why we've decided to provide these funds now to help protect so many vital services."
The $1 million, made available through the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation, includes:
$500,000 in grants to support continued operations for 32 dental safety net clinics that are ineligible to receive federal stimulus funds;
$250,000 Dental Practice Relief Fund to support practices impacted by COVID-19 closures and that have minimal or no access to alternative funding sources. In addition to the financial aid to dental clinics, the company is modifying some policies to provide appeal-filing grace periods and ensure that dentists can charge and be compensated for procedures performed via tele-dentistry;
$200,000 in one-time grants of up to $25,000 to nine non-profits that are working to meet local community needs relating to oral and overall health;
$50,000 to provide toothbrushes to families as part of select bagged lunch programs run by school districts and Boys & Girls Clubs.
"This crisis has impacted every sector of our home and work lives, and while many things have been put on hold, critical health services cannot be one of them," adds Lucia. "Delta Dental is committed to our vision of more smiles and healthier people and, as a not-for-profit organization, we feel the need to make an immediate infusion into care delivery systems and other non-profits that are working to keep families fed and meet emergency needs. We will continue evaluating all ongoing needs and are committed to supporting our communities through this crisis."
Delta Dental is taking a comprehensive approach to the crisis. "While we're taking swift action to protect the health of Virginians, we can't neglect the health and wellbeing of our own employees," said Lucia. "Fortunately, our system is built to allow our teams to work remotely, which empowers us to offer the same level of service to our customers and partners."
Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation was founded in 2012 by Delta Dental of Virginia to help improve the oral health and, subsequently, overall health of all Virginians. The foundation focuses its support on initiatives that improve oral health through oral health education, program development and community partnerships. For more information, visit DeltaDentalVA.com/foundation.html.
About Delta Dental of Virginia
Established in 1964, Delta Dental of Virginia is the largest dental benefits provider in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Delta Dental of Virginia provides high-quality, cost-effective dental plans to more than two million members. Through its foundation, Delta Dental of Virginia has donated millions of dollars to improve the oral health of Virginians.
Delta Dental of Virginia is a member of the national Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA). For more than 50 years, the DDPA has worked to improve oral health nationally. Delta Dental member companies serve more than 80 million people in more than 141,000 groups across the nation.