The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced grants to health centers in Oregon, Florida, and Virginia to increase access to dental services by poor and underserved populations.
Five health centers in Oregon will split a $1.75 million dollar grant. Florida health centers and organizations will receive grants totaling $10 million, including $2 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) which is intended to increase enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). An additional $1.4 million will go to health centers in Virginia.
The health centers use federal funds to serve patients who lack insurance, or money to pay for health care. Funding will allow hiring of dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, and technicians. Because oral health is important to overall health, providing dental care also improves early detection and care of gum disease which is linked to heart disease and diabetes.
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Senay Ataselim-Yilmaz, Chief Operating Officer, Turkish Philanthropy Funds, writes that philanthropy often solves the very problems that stems from market failure. Some social issues, however, cannot be tackled by questioning the return on investment.