BOISE – Idaho State University is among those receiving contributions from Delta Dental of Idaho this week. A gift of $500,000 will supply the aging dental hygiene clinic in Pocatello with 15 new chairs, dental delivery systems and lights that will transform the clinic to meet industry standards. Additionally, 10 existing chairs will be retrofitted with new dental delivery systems and lights.
Much of the existing equipment in the clinic was originally installed in 1981, the same year Microsoft released its MS-DOS program. The equipment has served the clinic well, but today’s dental hygiene students need updated facilities to receive the highest level of training possible. The donation will allow them to be ready to join the modern dental industry and make a lasting impact on oral health care in Idaho.
In total, Delta Dental of Idaho announced donations of more than $2 million to Idaho companies and organizations. This significant financial commitment builds on Delta Dental's 49‐year history of supporting Idaho's oral health and continues its leadership in the provision of support to the dental marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizations focused on advancing education that will benefit from Delta Dental of Idaho’s donations to their capital campaigns include: Idaho State University - $500,000 to outfit their dental hygiene clinic with new operatories; Wassmuth Center for Human Rights - $250,000 for the Center’s new facility and ongoing educational opportunities; and a further $100,000 in community funding to other organizations such as Idaho Business for Education, American Heart Association, and others.
“It’s incredibly important to have well-trained hygienists entering the oral health care field and ISU’s 4-year program is exceptional; their students receive a well-rounded education along with superior oral health training that Idahoans can trust. Those qualities and the fact that ISU’s oral health education perfectly aligns with Delta Dental of Idaho’s mission made supporting them with this donation an easy decision,” said Dr. Kyle Siemen, DMD, and Chair of Delta Dental of Idaho Board of Directors.
Rex Force, Senior Vice Provost and Vice President for Health Sciences at Idaho State University added, "As one of the preeminent dental hygiene programs in the nation, we take seriously our commitment to outstanding student training. The impact of the generous contribution from Delta Dental of Idaho allows us to enhance our training facilities and maintain excellence. Having state-of-the-art equipment not only allows students to learn in a real-world environment, but also enhances our recruitment of the best and brightest students. With Delta Dental's help, we are thrilled to be able to provide improved facilities that benefit the patients our students serve and ultimately improves the health of Idahoans."
Delta Dental of Idaho has also committed $800,000 to in-network dentists to help with the burdensome costs of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). This is in addition to an initial $500,000 distributed to dentists earlier in the summer. Additionally, Delta Dental of Idaho aided dentists in ensuring their access to federal funding as they navigated office closure mandates resulting from the pandemic. These efforts in particular will help ensure a strong dental network for members now, as well as when the pandemic is over.
From the beginning of the pandemic, Delta Dental of Idaho has continuously worked to support the health and safety of its employees, customers, and dentists. Delta Dental of Idaho has provided a wide range of other funding to support Idaho’s oral and overall health. Examples include giving $345,000 to Idaho free clinics and other community organizations; $50,000 to Community Schools; over $30,000 in volunteer hours to various organizations; and over 15,000 dental care kits distributed across the state.
About Delta Dental of Idaho
Delta Dental of Idaho is the leading dental benefits carrier in the state, providing quality, affordable dental plans for both companies and individuals. We are a not-for-profit organization seeking to improve the dental health of all Idahoans through our plan offerings and community outreach programs. Nationally, Delta Dental member companies provide coverage to more than 78 million Americans. For more information, visit deltadentalid.com.