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Where people are born, grow up, live, work and age greatly impact a person’s health. Local communities, and the nonprofits serving them, truly understand the hurdles to achieving oral health equity and also have the most innovative ideas on how to leap over these hurdles. That’s why we take a listening approach, inviting organizations to outline oral health disparities in their local communities and to propose strategies to address them through our open funding process. In 2019, 74 applicants shared their ideas. We had a conversation with each of them as part of the competitive process.

We’re proud to announce our partnership with 31 Colorado nonprofits and provide $3.5 million over three years to improve community oral health. These partners have identified solutions that align with DDCOF’s focus areas: access to oral health care, prevention of tooth decay and strengthening the connection between oral health and overall health.

Our efforts to advance oral health equity would not be possible without the funding commitment from Delta Dental of Colorado. The requests we received help us understand local needs and find new partners to achieve community-driven solutions. The 21% increase in applications reaffirms our role as Colorado’s only dedicated oral health funder. The people who know what makes a community thrive are the people who are part of it. We look forward to working with 2019 open funding grantees to advance oral health equity throughout Colorado. Because when we go the extra mile for every smile, we elevate the well-being of all Coloradans.