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31 Oct 2013 | Australasian Dental Practice

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800 SA seniors to benefit from Wrigley Community Service Grant

Philanthropy, Charity and Volunteering Grants

The Wrigley Company Foundation, in partnership with the Australian Dental Association Foundation (ADAF), has awarded its new USD$10,000 Principles in Action grant to the Dental Outreach Program, led by dentist Dr Greg Miller. The grant will support a mobile clinic to provide urgent oral care to up to 800 Yorke Peninsular and Mid North seniors in South Australia.


The Yorke Peninsula and Mid-North of South Australia has limited access to dental services, impacting many elderly residents living in aged-care facilities. The grant, along with support from the Dental Outreach practice, will be used to fund the operation of a mobile clinic for the region, providing oral health services for up to 800 residents in 27 aged care facilities.

The Principles in Action grant is a new category introduced this year to the Wrigley Company Foundation ADAF Community Service Grant program, created to support large scale projects and joins the existing Student and Dental categories.

While dental care is important, part of the Dental Health Outreach program is to provide support and oral health education not just to patients, but to ensure family, carers and nursing home staff understand the importance as well.

This is the second year in a row the Dental Outreach program has received a Wrigley Company Foundation ADAF Community Service Grant. According to Dr Miller, last year's grant funds benefited more than 180 South Australian seniors who received on-site mobile dental services from the volunteer initiative he leads.

"This funding supports our goal to improve dental health for disadvantaged members of the community and in particular, those located throughout rural and regional Australia who are already access constrained. The benefits of this program are simple: patient travel is eliminated; professional dental assessment and treatment is provided; and overall oral health is improved.

"Additionally, the elderly will benefit directly from improved oral health as the grant provides education to care givers, thus providing both treatment and prevention. Our aim is to expand this program to those communities with the greatest needs," he said.

Dental Outreach's mobile clinic will deliver on-site dental screening, education, prevention and treatment to mobility constrained nursing home residents.

The ADAF and Wrigley Company Foundation Community Service Grant initiatives provide much needed funding to volunteer dentists, dentistry students and teams of dental professionals to help improve the oral health of some of Australia's most disadvantaged communities including indigenous, homeless, special needs, disability, low income and elderly. The grants provide funding to cover the purchase of supplies and other expenses to either develop or expand existing community service programs.

Through the 2013 grants program, a total $82,000 has been awarded to 13 grant programs across Australia. Since its introduction in collaboration with ADA Inc. in 2011, the program has already awarded USD$95,000 in funds to grant recipients in 2011 and 2012.

This year, the Wrigley Company Foundation has signed a three-year partnership with the Australian Dental Association Foundation (ADAF). The long-term commitment will provide USD$295,000 in much needed funding to bridge the gap in access to oral care services and dental education throughout Australia.

Andrew Leakey, General Manager, Wrigley Pacific, said: "Our core business is to provide portable, accessible and enjoyable oral care that gives everyone the confidence of a happy, healthy mouth and we are committed to improving Australians' dental health. Effective partnership continues to drive the success of the Community Service Grant program, from the alliance between the Wrigley Company Foundation and the ADAF, to our collaboration with the hard working dentists and dental student grantees on their grassroots programs. We applaud all of the 2013 grant applicants who will put their Principles into Action and make a real difference in the community".

"The Wrigley Company Foundation ADAF community service grants are vitally important. They help dental professionals set-up oral health education and provide treatments free-of-charge to either commence or expand existing community service programs in areas of need," said Wendy Tancred, Chairman Advisory Board, Australian Dental Association Foundation.

Applications for the 2014 Community Service Grants program will open in April 2014. To keep up-to-date with news about the program and for the full application criteria, visit www.adaf.org.au.

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