The DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement is committed to making investments that improve and strengthen the systems that create better oral health for all. We are guided by a vision of a community where everyone has equitable access to the knowledge, support, and resources to attain optimal oral health, and by a systems change framework that informs the strategies we employ to achieve the outcomes that will move us toward realizing this vision. One of our theories of change is that it is necessary to target multiple systems that affect optimal oral health outcomes, including: Policy, Funding, Care, and Community.
Investing in Change
Health disparities impact people very directly. It may mean diminished quality of life from persistent pain, poor appearance, loss of economic opportunities, and overall lower life expectancy. Uneven access to preventive and restorative care particularly, impacts racial and ethnic minority groups, families living in poverty, and the elderly, among others. The DentaQuest Partnership approach invests in both national and community-based efforts to improve oral health and help erase disparities. These investments are strategic, multi-layered, and directed at the systems that provide and fund care, enhance public policy, and help communities build and navigate available resources.
Partnerships are important
Providers, communities, funders, and policymakers each play a unique role in addressing health disparities. As conveners, we believe philanthropies have the unique role of encouraging collaborative relationships and serving as catalysts for change. All are welcome who are willing to work for common ground solutions appropriate for the scale of the problems to be solved.
Momentum for social justice and health equity
As catalysts for change, foundations can serve as an amplifier, elevating critical issues for discussion and framing opportunities for engagement. We also have an obligation to give our partners what they need to succeed. We encourage connected learning and stakeholder engagement.
Through our philanthropic investments, the DentaQuest Partnerships supports major national initiatives as well as state- and community-based programs that are driving change from the grassroots to the grasstops. Our grantee partners are supported with resources, including technical assistance, to empower them to cultivate deep and effective community partnerships and coalitions; to engage stakeholders at key points from strategy-setting to execution; to undertake advocacy; and to objectively evaluate their progress. Common ground and community engagement become the bedrock for shared and sustainable solutions and contributes to the collective impact.
Through grassroots action, the DentaQuest Partnership and its partners are creating sustainable, healthy communities that:
Believe oral health is critical to overall health and well-being,
Embrace effective preventive interventions, and
Make prevention and dental treatment available to all.
Oral Health 2020 is a multi-year effort, launched in 2015, that is engaging grantees and partners to strengthen and unify an oral health network aligned to improve oral health by building upon current initiative strategies and expanding impact. Oral Health 2020 goals are inspirational, with specific targets to be achieved by 2020.
The Community Response Fund provides support to address acute, short-term care delivery problems that community-based care providers may face as they work to improve oral health for underserved populations.
Executive Director's Fund investments support convenings and activities that are aligned with the priorities of the DentaQuest Partnership’s Executive Director of Grantmaking. Fund investments currently focus on reducing oral health disparities, promoting community involvement, and fostering person-centered care.