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Community Involvement

The ODA Foundation’s grants enable programs that help not only the community, but the practice of dentistry as a whole. The Foundation’s scholarship programs further the profession of dentistry by attracting the highest caliber of potential dental professionals.

ODAF Scholarships

Since 1999, the ODA Foundation has awarded $406,763 in dental career scholarships to Ohio students. Of that amount, $287,013 has been to dental students at CWRU or OSU. Our commitment to supporting the profession of dentistry and dental programs in Ohio is strong.

Congratulations to the 2013 dental student scholarship recipients, who collectively received $66,000 in scholarship assistance.

Dental students entering their second, third or fourth year of dental school at OSU or Case in 2014 are eligible to apply for the ODAF Dental Student Scholarship.

Those entering an ADA-accredited EFDA program in August or September 2014 are eligible to apply for the ODAF EFDA Scholarship.

New this year is the Dr. James Mercer Leadership Scholarship in the amount of $7,500. Dental students entering their fourth year of dental school at The Ohio State University in 2014 are eligible to apply for this merit-based scholarship.

The Akron Dental Society Claypool Fund offers scholarships to dental students and dental hygiene students studying in Ohio. Eligible students are from the Akron area and have a letter of endorsement from a member of the Akron Dental Society. For additional information on the ADS Claypool Scholarship application, contact the Akron Dental Society at (330) 376-3551.

The ODA Foundation helps support the highest caliber of candidates pursuing a career in dentistry. Eligibility includes Ohio residency, academic excellence and financial need. Eligible students must be enrolled in a dental education program at an Ohio school with ADA accreditation.

ODAF Grants

The ODA Foundation has awarded $361,700 in grants since 1995. The ODAF program grant application process is open to qualified Ohio community dental care and oral health projects. Specific criteria and examples of qualified programs are included in each year’s Program Grant Application.

The 2014 ODAF Grant Application is available for oral health programs that reach out to underserved populations.

Grants awarded in 2012 made a significant impact on access to care as well. At the completion of the grant year, the grantees reported:

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital program to Improve Access to Dental Care for Low-Income Teens provided education and hands-on experience on how to provide dental care during pregnancy to 110 dental students from the OSU College of Dentistry. Additionally it helped 152 young at-risk pregnant women learn about the importance of good oral health for themselves and for their baby. The women also received an oral screening, information on resources for dental care, and more. This program continues through an ongoing partnership with the Grant/Riverside Wellness on Wheels prenatal mobile unit.
  • In its first 20 months, the Look Up Dental Clinic in Newark saw 1,319 patients and performed 1,625 extractions at a volunteer treatment value of more than $290,000. The clinic operates with volunteer dentists from the W.D. Miller Dental Society and others who provide care to indigent adults in Licking County. The local hospital reports a 15 percent reduction in emergency room visits for acute tooth-related problems since the clinic opened. This program continues with grants and fundraising efforts.
  • The OSU College of Dentistry held its inaugural Give Kids a Smile program in October 2012 and a second in February 2013; both were held on a Saturday. This was the first year that the College of Dentistry held a comprehensive volunteer children’s program in the clinics, providing all needed dental care to uninsured children. A total of 243 children were treated at both events. There were an estimated 270 volunteers, including dental students, faculty and residents; auxiliary staff and students, and undergrad volunteers at each event. This program continues as a twice a year event with grants, fundraising, supplier donations and university support.
  • The Stark County Dental Society held its first ever Vision for Veteran’s Dental Care program in fall 2012. Through this, 37 veterans were screened and received volunteer follow-up treatment. Funding from this grant was used to cover the cost of partial or full dentures for some of the veterans. There were 35 dentists and other volunteers involved in the program, and the reported value of free dental care was over $33,000. This program will be continued through dental society fundraising and in-kind donations, and hopes to expand to serve more local veterans.
  • Access Health Mahoning Valley is a community consortium in which the Corydon Palmer Dental Society participates by providing volunteer dental care through outreach programs and clinics. Working with the Choffin Career Center Dental Assisting Clinic, which is a 6-operatory facility, volunteer dentists, hygienists and assisting students provided basic dental care and treatment to 65 uninsured adults. The program will continue with other grant support and in-kind donations, as well as support from other community dental health entities.
  • The Dental OPTIONS program received a one-time grant to supplement state budget cuts and a reduction in national HRSA funding; the funds were used to help maintain OPTIONS program operations for state fiscal year 2012-13. With this financial support, the referral coordinators were able to continue to match eligible Ohioans with participating dentists, and refer those not eligible for the program to other community resources for help. The Dental OPTIONS program again exceeded $2,000,000.00 in volunteer services for the state fiscal year. The program continues with state funding, ODA budget assistance, federal grants, and other sources.

 In the past 10 years, the ODAF has awarded $292,680 in grants. Click here for a list of grant recipients since 2004.