The mission of the Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDAF) is to provide access to dental care to underserved Virginians.According to statistics reported by the Virginia Health Care Foundation, 3.8 million Virginians - roughly 46% of the population - have no dental insurance, and residents of 66 localities in the Commonwealth have no dental safety net provider. Medicaid, the program to cover health care costs for our lowest-income residents, does not provide dental services for adults (except in dire emergencies). Thousands of people across Virginia experience chronic pain, difficulty chewing, low self-esteem and other complications resulting from oral disease, simply because they lack basic resources such as dental insurance or personal finances to access comprehensive care.At the VDAF, we are passionate about dental care and oral health because they profoundly affect the well-being and quality of life of individuals and communities. A well-documented body of research shows the link between overall health and oral health. Poor dental health is linked to conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and in extreme cases, malnutrition. It can also affect an individual's ability to secure and maintain employment. In the U.S. alone, employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits (National Institutes of Health, Spring 2003).We can make a difference. Through our three nationally-recognized programs -- Donated Dental Services, Mission of Mercy, and Give Kids a Smile! -- volunteers provide dental services that not only benefit people in need of care, but also communities, employers and institutions that rely on a healthy population to be sustainable and successful.
The VDAF’s greatest needs for the upcoming year are:
Founded in 1996 as the charitable arm of the Virginia Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association Foundation garners the resources of dental professionals and the community at large to operate outreach programs that provide free, high-quality dental care for low-income, underserved and under-insured Virginians. The first program established by the Foundation in 1997 was Donated Dental Services, which coordinates comprehensive, pro bono dental care and lab services for senior citizens and adults with disabilities. In 2000, with an initial grant of $99,000 from the Virginia Health Care Foundation, the VDAF launched its Mission of Mercy program to provide free dental care to thousands of individuals annually through mobile dental clinics held in strategic locations across the State. Then, in 2003, the VDAF coordinated the American Dental Association's first Give Kids a Smile! children's dental access day held in Virginia and has continued the program ever since. The Foundation has enhanced these programs over the past decade, and following an intensive strategic planning process, it is now poised to expand these programs in order to improve the health and well-being of even more adults and children across the Commonwealth.
Dental health affects all aspects of our lives – our general health, nutrition, and even employment. Oral diseases are among the most common health problems in the United States, and every day, thousands of Virginians suffer needlessly from periodontal disease and the pain, difficulty, and embarrassment it can cause. We are here to make a difference.
As the charitable arm of the Virginia Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association Foundation garners the resources, expertise and goodwill of member dentists and the community at large to operate outreach programs that provide free, high-quality dental care for low-income, underserved and under-insured Virginians. Our programs not only benefit those in need of dental care, but also the communities, employers and institutions in our State that rely on a healthy population to be sustainable and successful.
We invite you to be part of our vision in which all Virginians, regardless of income or insurance, enjoy good oral and overall health. By volunteering, making a financial gift, or providing in-kind resources, you can help us make a difference and make our vision a reality.
Each year, Virginia dentists provide free oral health care services to thousands of underserved children from across the Commonwealth through Give Kids a Smile! A program of the American Dental Association, Give Kids a Smile! focuses on offering oral health education to all children while providing free preventive and restorative care to children with limited means for securing dental services. In addition to helping children, Give Kids A Smile! highlights for policymakers the ongoing challenges that underserved children and children with disabilities face in accessing dental care. The Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDAF) functions as an umbrella for the numerous charitable education, screening, prevention and comprehensive treatment programs held annually across our state, serving as a resource for events, aggregating the results of these endeavors, and effectively communicating them to stakeholders.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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