Delta Dental of Arizona Named 2023 Champion of Change Large Business of the Year
By Alison Bailin -
Friday May 19, 2023
Delta Dental of Arizona is pleased to announce it has been selected as the Arizona Champion of Change Large Business of the Year. The Glendale dental insurer, the largest in Arizona, was recognized with the award during the 2023 Champions of Change luncheon held at Orange Tree Resort in Scottsdale on May 18, 2023. Hosted annually by AZ Big Media, Champions of Change recognizes dynamic innovators and trailblazers who are changing Arizona’s business landscape through leadership, visionary thinking and philanthropy to earn the right to be called a Champion of Change. Champions of Change honors both individuals and organizations.
Delta Dental was chosen for its impactful work statewide, but especially for the good works over the past 18 months.
Throughout 2022, Delta Dental celebrated its 50th anniversary, using it as the opportunity to work with valued partners on volunteer efforts that provide essential support for various organizations while benefitting the community at large. Here are just some of the ways in which Delta Dental acted as an agent of change both during its anniversary year and so far in 2023:
Throughout 2022, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation partnered with Arizona PBS on an educational outreach program to promote good oral health to children in rural communities across the state. The statewide campaign boosted family involvement in good oral health practices, focusing on the importance of brushing twice a day, changing toothbrushes regularly and visiting the dentist twice a year. A series of free events was held from February to August in rural areas, including Bullhead City, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City, Payson, Safford, Show Low, Somerton, Tuba City, and Yuma. The events featured PBS characters, educational crafts, activities, and giveaways for children up to age 8. Local dental professionals offered free dental screenings and fluoride varnish treatments. In addition, children were encouraged to participate in a writing and illustration contest about dental health, with winners recognized across Arizona in summer 2022.
In April 2022, Delta Dental and Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health (NOAH) together announced the release of the “Mouth-Healthy Cookbook,” a free cookbook made in collaboration with nutritionists and oral health experts featuring nearly two dozen easy-to-make recipes that promote whole-person health for the entire family. The book, which includes kid-friendly instructions for many of the recipes to encourage time in the kitchen together, is available to download for free.
During the summer of 2022, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation expanded guidelines for its grant program to include non-dental programs, specifically nutritional access programs such as food banks, after-school and weekend food programs for children, and senior delivery programs. In addition, for the first time, dental programs for underserved adults will now be considered for funding along with dental programs for underserved children and seniors.
In August 2022, more than 30 Delta Dental of Arizona employees came together to support the critical work of St. Vincent de Paul. Throughout the day, volunteers prepared and served 237 meals to St. Vincent de Paul clients, and the team also handed out fresh to-go food bags they assembled. Dentists from the Delta Dental board also got involved, volunteering their time to the Delta Dental of Arizona Oral Health Center at the Virginia G. Piper Medical and Dental Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul, providing screenings and fluoride varnish to nearly 100 local children. We are proud of the partnership we established with St. Vincent de Paul more than a decade ago; a partnership that culminated in a $1 million donation to the organization in 2017 to create the comprehensive charity dental clinic that provides treatment and preventive care to children and adults without insurance.
In September 2022, Delta Dental of Arizona launched a new dental discount card to expand access to affordable care. The program offers retirees, gig workers discounts on dental and vision care.
In October 2022, Delta Dental of Arizona, long-time advocate of increasing communication between dental and medical providers to reduce barriers to care, announced the release of a new report from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, which shows that Medical-Dental Integration (MDI) improves positive health outcomes in vulnerable populations, such as at-risk children, pregnant women, seniors, and those in need of chronic disease management. The study, funded by the Delta Dental Institute, also supports the research-based exploration of care delivery models like MDI that improve health care outcomes and advance patient-centered care.
In November 2022, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation was named as recipient of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix’s 2022 Kids at Heart Award recipient. The honor was awarded to the organization for its ongoing 14 (now 15)-year commitment to strengthening children’s learning through play; helping to make additional and better play possible for Arizona’s children; demonstrating a commitment to learning through play; making outstanding contributions of time and or/investment to enriching the lives of children; and making outstanding contributions to strengthen and advance the interests of children.
In December 2022, Delta Dental announced its sponsorship of the Northern Arizona Oral Health Coalition Northern Arizona Oral Health Hero of the Year Award, presenting it with the team in March 2023.
In February 2023, Delta Dental of Arizona, through its Foundation, awarded grants to 33 non-profit organizations that are working to increase access to oral health services and provide nutritional programs for underserved populations across Arizona. These funds, totaling $743,536, were awarded to support projects and services promoting good oral health practices and increasing access to dental care among underserved children, pregnant women, seniors and – for the first time – adults.
In March 2023, Delta Dental of Arizona, in partnership with the Delta Dental Institute, announced Driving Greater Diversity in the Oral Health Workforce, a new campaign to help increase the number of oral health professionals from historically underrepresented groups. The Delta Dental Institute's campaign will drive toward a more diverse oral health workforce by establishing the Delta Dental Oral Health Diversity Fund, and by supporting initiatives in oral health education, research, and community investment.