Sun Life U.S. and DentaQuest, part of Sun Life U.S., have donated $100,000 to RIZE Massachusetts, an independent nonprofit foundation solely dedicated to funding and creating solutions to end the opioid crisis.
On March 2, a breakfast was held in recognition of the dedication, support and progress the organization has made in the Bay state. RIZE’s “Five Years of Fighting Together to End the Opioid Crisis” Anniversary Breakfast brought state legislators, including Governor Maura Healey, House Ways & Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, together with RIZE supporters, donors, and leaders from Massachusetts-based companies to spotlight the ongoing and evolving nature of the crisis.
DentaQuest President and RIZE Board Chair Steve Pollock served as master of ceremonies. “It was an honor to help spotlight the important work RIZE is accomplishing and recognize the support our state’s leadership has provided,” said Pollock. “Governor Healey not only spoke at last week’s breakfast, she participated in our inaugural event five years ago when she served as Attorney General, and we’re grateful for her ongoing support.”
According to research from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, opioid-related overdose deaths increased by 9.4% 2021, taking an average of six lives per day, every day.
“We must ensure ongoing funding and support for effective solutions to combat this terrible disease,” continued Pollock. “DentaQuest and Sun Life support RIZE because we share a commitment to advancing health equity, which starts by expanding access to care and benefits, particularly for underserved populations. We’ve seen firsthand how the opioid epidemic is inextricably linked to oral health. A healthy smile may seem trivial, but for those in treatment it can provide the confidence and courage to seek employment, reengage with friends and family and make the first step toward a healthier future. I am excited for Sun Life and DentaQuest to leverage our combined power and help more people access the dental care, mental health support and health services they need to live healthier lives.”
DentaQuest has supported RIZE since 2018, when Pollock joined the Board. RIZE is committed to achieving zero stigma and zero deaths related to opioid use disorder by investing in meaningful solutions and employing broad perspectives that will save lives, reduce harm and end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.
“RIZE is grateful to receive this incredible gift from Sun Life and DentaQuest, which will help further our mission to end the overdose crisis in Massachusetts and improve quality of life for people with substance use disorders,” said Julie Burns, president and CEO of RIZE Massachusetts Foundation. “These organizations have made a commitment to supporting the health and well-being of individuals and families across a wide range of needs and issues they face. This contribution to RIZE reflects a keen knowledge that overall health includes mental health and oral health, as well as the intersection of social factors that influence the trajectory of a person’s life. We are honored that Sun Life has joined us in the fight to end this crisis in our state and look forward to the work that has been made possible by this investment.”
Sun Life and DentaQuest support many initiatives nationwide that enable and empower people to live healthier lives, with a focus on providing access to the care and coverage they need. Dental-focused partnerships include America’s Toothfairy and TeamSmile, which provide oral health education and preventive care for children, as well as Missions of Mercy, which offers dental care to those who do not have access to a local dentist. Partnerships to support food equity, nutrition, and diabetes include the American Diabetes Association, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City and the YMCA of Greater Boston. Mental health partnerships include support for community outreach programs with the Black Alliance for Mental Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
ABOUT SUN LIFE
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing asset management, wealth, insurance and health solutions to individual and institutional Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2022, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1.33 trillion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
Sun Life U.S. is one of the largest providers of employee and government benefits, helping more than 50 million Americans access the healthcare and coverage they need. Through employers, industry partners and government programs, Sun Life offers a portfolio of benefits and services, including dental, vision, disability, absence management, life, supplemental health, medical stop-loss insurance, and healthcare navigation. Sun Life U.S. and affiliated companies in asset management employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S. For more information visit our website and newsroom.
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 www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The newsletter designed for anyone who wants to improve oral health for themselves, their families, customers or communities.