50th Honorees: DLN and Fred Leviton: The Early Years

With Dental Lifeline Network in its second year of operation, Dr. Larry Coffee, founder of DLN, set his sights on long-term sustainability. Recognizing the potential in pursuing state-level government grants, he made a strategic hire – Fred Leviton – as the Assistant Executive Director. This move positioned DLN to secure crucial funding and solidify its future impact.

Learning of Fred Leviton’s public policy background through a faculty member at the University of Colorado, Larry brought him on board as a valuable asset. With a lean team of just four, they embarked on an ambitious mission to increase funding, create the Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, and expand programs to other states. 

Fred held nearly every role in the organization from grant writing and fundraising to building manager to IT technician. Then, in 2017, after 41 years at the organization, Fred succeeded Larry as the CEO.


Serving Veterans, Diversifying Revenue and $500M in Donated Treatment 

Fred began focusing on veterans’ care, diversifying funding, and growing the donated treatment to patients in needHe worked closely with the American Dental Association and launched the Will You See One Veteran program in 2018. This program motivated over 700 volunteers to sign up and help, and several companies donated to support the program as well. Today, that program is called Lifeline Heroes Challenge, and DLN remains firmly committed to serving veterans.  

In 2021, the now national DDS program surpassed $500M in donated treatment with more than 50 employees supporting the organization. Now, 50 years since its inception, DLN has transformed the lives of more than 170,000 people in need. 

“The milestone of 50 years means a lot to me because it means that we were able to create something that is lasting and important,” said Fred. “The whole reason the organization exists is to provide care to help people. DLN has been able to touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in some way, shape or form. That’s a big deal.”

Retiring from his role as CEO in 2022, Fred leaves behind a remarkable legacy at Dental Lifeline Network. His leadership and vision have been instrumental in shaping the organization into the force it is today. We celebrate his lasting impact on DLN and the countless individuals who have benefitted from his dedication. 

This year we celebrate Dental Lifeline Network’s 50th Anniversary and its countless contributions made to oral health in the lives of vulnerable adults. Throughout the year, we will honor individuals, partners, and volunteers who have all contributed to the milestone.  

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Dental Lifeline Network
1800 15th Street, Suite 100
Denver, CO 80202

Phone: 303.534.5360
Fax: 303.534.5290

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