News from DDOK Foundation
March 2020

Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation Announces 2020 Funding

DDOK Foundation has awarded $1,530,000 in grants to fund 38 free and low-cost dental clinics, dental education programs and various oral health initiatives in 2020. Grant list >

Oral Health Awareness Forum Scheduled for March 27

The Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation, in cooperation with the Oklahoma Oral Health Coalition, will conduct the 2020 Oral Health Awareness Forum on March 27, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., in Oklahoma City. This statewide event will bring together dental, medical and public health professionals, oral health safety net organizations, and other individuals invested in the health of Oklahomans. Pre-registration is required and ends March 18. Details & registration >

The 11th annual Oklahoma Mission of Mercy (OkMOM), held last month in Stillwater, was a great success! The free two-day dental clinic treated individuals of all ages and provided $1,483,735 in donated care, which included cleanings, fillings, extractions, and other treatment at no cost to patients. In total, volunteers performed dental procedures on 1,243 patients, averaging $1,193 of donated dental care per patient.  

“For many of our patients, the Oklahoma Mission of Mercy is a life-changing event,” said Delta Dental of Oklahoma President and CEO John Gladden. “More than twelve hundred patients walked out of our clinic in Stillwater no longer in pain, with a healthier mouth and improved quality of life. We also guided them to resources that will help them maintain their dental health.”

OkMOM is also a wonderful experience for volunteers. Sydney Spires of Jones, Oklahoma, was the 2019 recipient of the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Pre-Dental Scholarship at the University of Central Oklahoma. She volunteered alongside DDOK Foundation Education Specialist Teri Bachhofer, who just happened to be her elementary school teacher years ago! 

The Oklahoma Mission of Mercy is hosted in a different city each year. The 2021 event will be held in Shawnee on February 12 and 13.

On February 29, the OU College of Dentistry hosted its annual Kids’ Day Program. At the event, dental and dental hygiene students – working under the supervision of trained dentists –provided cleanings, fillings, crowns and other treatment free of charge to children between the ages of 4 and 12.

“Kids’ Day is a wonderful opportunity for our students to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of others who may not normally have the opportunity to receive dental care,” said Tim Fagan, DDS, MS, head of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry and faculty sponsor of the Kids’ Day program student group.

DDOK Foundation supports the annual event by handling pre-registration and, of course, Captain Supertooth always performs a fly-by!

Chris Leslie, DDS
Delta Dental Scholar: 2008

Raised in Stillwater, Oklahoma, Dr. Christopher Leslie is an alum of Oklahoma State University, where he completed his Bachelor of Science in physiology, finishing in the top five of his class. In 2008, while earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, he was selected for a Delta Dental scholarship. Dr. Leslie continued his education through the University’s Advanced General Dentistry Residency Program.

Where is he now?

Dr. Leslie practices at Cornerstone Family Dentistry in Stillwater and is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA). Dr. Leslie has provided dental care through a number of volunteer efforts, including serving as co-chair for the 2020 Oklahoma Mission of Mercy held in Stillwater. He also enjoys spending time with his family, competing in triathlons and fishing. He and his wife, Rachel, have two children, Cooper and Emma.
2020 OkMOM Co-Chair Dr. Chris Leslie and DDOK President and CEO John Gladden along with OkMOM Co-Chair Dr. Dan Wilguess and Oklahoma Dental Foundation Executive Director John Wilguess welcomed the first patient to the Stillwater event February 7.

DDOK Foundation Director Terrisa Singleton was presented with the James S. Torchia Award by the Tulsa County Dental Society at its annual awards dinner March 3. Terrisa was recognized for ten years of service to dentistry in Oklahoma through her work with charitable dental programs.
Terrisa (center) was joined at the awards dinner by Delta Dental of Oklahoma Provider Relations staff, (left to right) Kristal Drewery, Tyra Aldridge and Katie Newby,
and DDOK President and CEO John Gladden (right).

The Delta Dental Institute has released a white paper addressing the state of health literacy in America through an oral health lens, entitled "Improving America’s Oral Health Literacy: Leveraging lessons from health literacy to elevate America’s understanding of oral health."

The white paper examines how low health literacy results in delay or avoidance of dental care and persistent disparity in oral health outcomes. It also includes an important roadmap for how dental professionals, insurers, researchers, and policymakers can work together to improve America’s oral health literacy. The full paper is available to download on the Delta Dental Institute's website here.

At the Delta Dental of Oklahoma Foundation, one of our main goals is to connect those in need, volunteers, and available resources to each other. To accomplish this, each quarter we publish the Resource for Dental Care Guide, a directory of every free or low-cost dental care resource we have located in the state of Oklahoma.

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