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DentaQuest Invests in California Organizations Supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Oral Health

Contributions include programs at Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine, Children Now, and United American Indian Involvement, Inc.

DentaQuest today announced an investment in organizations that advance and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in oral health care. Contributions include programs at Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine, Children Now, and United American Indian Involvement, Inc.

With this investment, DentaQuest is supporting efforts to break down barriers to accessing oral health care. DentaQuest is contributing a total of $65,000 to five organizations across California to aid in their work, including:

  • Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine is creating a dental school safety net externship;
  • Children Now is advocating to reduce barriers for children of color to reach their full potential;
  • GeriSmiles Dental Health Foundation is bringing mobile dental services to regional schools and to geriatric populations in need of oral health care;
  • The Pediatric Dental Initiative (PDI) is providing pediatric and special needs patients with oral health prevention education and dental care services; and
  • United American Indian Involvement, Inc. (UAII) is creating a pathway for American Indians/Alaskan Natives to pursue a career in dentistry.

“The overarching goal of these five organizations is to create a more equitable health care system and to break down barriers to affordable, accessible, quality dental care,” said Steve Pollock, DentaQuest president and CEO. “By investing in organizations that promote and implement programs based in diversity, equity and inclusion, we’re advancing grassroots efforts to improve the oral health of all.”

Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine

DentaQuest’s contribution to Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine will be used to launch a California Dental School Safety-Net program specifically for externships. This externship program will help dental students in their junior or senior academic year complete their required externship experience. As part of the program, these students must provide care to those with limited access to oral health care, such as patients in rural areas, or to specific vulnerable populations such as those with special health care needs or veterans.

Children Now

DentaQuest’s donation to Children Now will support the organization’s implementation of the California Oral Health Plan (2018-2028) by working with stakeholders in the state including local health jurisdictions in Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.

GeriSmiles Dental Health Foundation

The GeriSmiles Dental Health Foundation promotes oral health and works on a partnership basis with state agencies, oral health care professionals, consumer groups, the oral health care industry, the community, and education sectors in order to provide oral health treatment to California residents. With DentaQuest’s contribution, GeriSmiles will provide preventive and restorative oral health care to hard-to-reach and medically underserved populations in Riverside and San Bernadino counties, regardless of their ability to pay.

Pediatric Dental Initiative

PDI delivers safe, high-quality, specialized, surgical dental treatment to underserved youth and promotes oral health through education to communities of Northern California. DentaQuest’s donation will support the organization’s oral health prevention education, community outreach and dental care delivery to pediatric and special needs patients suffering from severe tooth decay.

United American Indian Involvement, Inc.

DentaQuest’s donation to UAII will be applied to the organization’s Workforce Development and Training department, which provides young adults ages 15 to 25 years old with opportunities to enter professional careers. UAII will offer an online orientation of dental programs and provide online or virtual workshops to build interest in the dental industry.

Today’s announcement is DentaQuest’s latest investment in programs dedicated to addressing racial inequity and advancing the dental profession. Previously, DentaQuest announced a $100,000 investment in two university research projects, $30,000 investment in three university externship programs and a $20,000 investment in a dental school admissions pilot program with the Society of American Indian Dentists.


DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors. As one of the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.


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