Nearly 300 people in Louisiana are on a waiting list to be matched with a volunteer dentist who can provide comprehensive dental care. With a grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Dental Lifeline Network’s is expanding its Louisiana Donated Dental Services (DDS) program to meet those needs.
The Louisiana DDS program provides comprehensive dental care for people in need, including people with disabilities, complicated health conditions and seniors who cannot otherwise afford it.
“These funds help bridge an essential gap to provide care for those needing it,” said Fred Leviton, president and CEO of Dental Lifeline Network. “Many of the cases our volunteer dentists work on require comprehensive treatment. And often, even when people are able to use safety net programs for other kinds of care, oral health is not necessarily covered or available to them.”
Across Louisiana, a network of more than 387 dentists and 79 labs have provided services to more than 5,400 people since 1987. Dental care professionals donate their services, but the Louisiana DDS relies on funding to coordinate care between patients and the dentists.
“We are grateful to those volunteers in the DDS network who give so generously to meet this important need. Our goal is to help Dental Lifeline Network grow its impact on the health and lives of Louisianians,” said Michael Tipton, president of the Blue Cross Foundation.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianians by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. In 2020, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invested more than $14 million in Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits with programs and services reaching 6.4 million Louisianans.