Thriving Families, a nonprofit organization located in metro-Denver, offers programs that support women, children, and their families during pregnancy and just after a baby is born – a critical period of development for children’s futures. With the support of Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, Thriving Families is providing bilingual oral health care for families, a crucial need in the metro Denver community.
Recognizing the pressing need for culturally-affirming oral health care, in 2021 Thriving Families sought out a grant from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation (DDCOF) for assistance. Thriving Families predominantly serves uninsured, Spanish-speaking, and immigrant populations, often with limited access to oral health services. Many recent immigrants to the US who were served by Thriving Families had never received oral health care before, and this underscored the urgency for accessible and inclusive care. Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation’s support enabled Thriving Families to establish on-site dental clinics (in partnership with Deserving Dental), offering bilingual oral health care services to pregnant women and young children. Moreover, they provided essential assistance with transportation and childcare for appointments, ensuring every family could access the care they deserved, regardless of their circumstances.
The impact of this partnership has been significant. In the first year alone, more than 120 adults and 180 children received direct oral health services, leading to improved overall health and well-being, and 500 families received educational materials on perinatal and early pediatric oral health. The program’s success extended far beyond the clinic’s walls, significantly altering participants’ perception of dental care. One grateful participant shared, “My last cleaning was over 3 years ago, and I wasn’t sure if my teeth were in good health. Having a 1-year-old and being pregnant, it has been hard to get care, and it was convenient to have the service here at [Thriving Families]. The dentist was gentle and nice and told me that my teeth are in good condition.”
Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation’s support has been crucial to Thriving Families’ success. This program marked the first-ever dental care experience for many participants, instilling a positive and encouraging impression for their future oral health needs. Galena Rhoades, Ph.D., Executive Director of Thriving Families, expressed the significance of DDCOF’s support, stating, “funding from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation has provided the opportunity for more than 100 families to receive oral health care directly. Coordinated care in English and Spanish, onsite childcare, and free transportation have been key to the success of this program.”
Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation’s partnership with Thriving Families exemplifies the power of collaboration and shared goals – to break down barriers to oral health care access and set a new standard for perinatal care, ensuring that every family thrives during this vital period.