At Arcora Foundation, we are continuing to support our partners and each other, while also addressing some urgent community needs. Staff have reviewed their 2020 workplans and budgets and noted areas where our work is being paused, refocused, or where new opportunities have emerged. Our COVID-19 Response Group is working to develop recommendations on how to best address emerging needs, with a focus on the disproportionate hardships (including mortality rates) experienced by underserved communities as a result of COVID-19. Here are some actions Arcora Foundation has taken to support partners, providers, and individuals during the crisis.
To learn more about Delta Dental of Washington’s community giving, visit their website.
offering covid-19 relief through Safety Net Support Grants
In these unprecedented times, the most vulnerable are bearing the brunt of the effects of COVID-19, exacerbating the oral health disparities that Arcora Foundation and our partners are working hard to reduce. To support safety net providers, and the vulnerable populations they serve, we are opening applications for Safety Net Support Grants. This funding is open to Federally Qualified Health Centers, Urban Indian dental programs, and non-profit dental clinics facing unprecedented financial challenges as a result of COVID-19.
Those interested in applying can learn more and download the application on our Grants page.
Supporting food security through grants
Food security is an urgent need for families suddenly without income. To help address this need, we’ve provided $181,250 in grants, as well as oral health supplies, to Washington organizations and tribal partners on the front lines of hunger relief. Additionally, we are providing food vouchers to several of our medical partners to share with patients in need.
Recipients: Philanthropy Northwest WA Food Fund, Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest, Senior Roundtable (Walla Walla Senior Center), Olympic Community Actions Programs, Okanagan Transportation and Nutrition, Rural Resources Community Action Network, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Island Senior Resources, Coastal Community Action Program, Confederated Tribes of Colville, Yakima Valley Community Foundation
“I wanted to thank you again for your generous donation of money and dental supplies. It will certainly help our most vulnerable population.” Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Local Impact Networks: Reallocating Funding
We are working with Local Impact Network (LIN) partners to reassign some grant funding to help with immediate local needs. For example, the Thurston LIN has reallocated up to $10,000 for food security. The North Sound LIN has reallocated up to $55,000 for urgent local needs.
Connecting people to urgent dental care through DentistLink
In response to the spread of COVID-19, dental providers in Washington have been directed by Governor Inslee to address urgent dental care only until at least May 18. DentistLink, our dental referral service, is working to help people with urgent dental needs get the care they need without going to busy emergency rooms.
So far, 74 community health centers and 247 private practice providers have joined DentistLink’s urgent need referral list, and the number of DentistLink users has increased over the last several weeks. To learn more about DentistLink’s shift during COVID-19, including a flyer to share with patients, go here. Dental providers looking to join the urgent need referral team can learn more here.
“Oh my God thank you so much. I’ve been calling and everything is closed and my girlfriend is in so much pain right now, we’re desperate. I’ve got our two-year-old out so she can get some rest because she’s been up all night in pain. Thank you again!” DentistLink patient, Redmond
National advocacy for vulnerable populations
We have been collaborating with several partners on national advocacy efforts related to COVID-19, and have joined letters to congressional leaders in support of health care access and support for communities disproportionately impacted by this crisis. In partnership with national organizations like Community Catalyst and Families USA, Arcora Foundation has voiced our support for:
- The Department of Health & Human Services to create a special enrollment period in response to COVID-19.
- An additional, emergency increase of 12 percent to Federal Medicaid matching funds.
- Several measures to protect and expand access to health care, including extending Medicaid coverage for all uninsured individuals, regardless of immigration status, for COVID-19 related screening and treatment.
- Public reporting detailing the non-profits and for-profits that are able to access loans.
Providing training on teledentistry and urgent care
We’ve developed free webinars for dental providers on teledentistry and urgent dental care. The webinars include the latest guidance from the Washington State Health Care Authority on new billing codes for dental phone triage and urgent care and other steps they are taking to support dental providers during these challenging times. You can view our COVID-19 webinar here, and other CDE opportunities can be found on our Professional Training page.
Sharing resources and information
We are sharing available COVID-19 community resources on our Partner Resources page. On our social media channels also have updates and resources for partners to share with their audiences. We want to emphasize that oral disease is preventable and prevention begins with healthy habits at home. This is especially important given that dental offices are closed except for urgent care.
For other oral health resources for your audiences, visit our Shareables page.
As the situation evolves, we will continue to evaluate ways to support our partners and communities during this crisis.