Minnesota Dental Foundation. A Practice of Giving.

The Minnesota Dental Foundation (MDF) offers financial support and in-kind services for outreach programs that meet the mission of the MDF by providing dental services to underserved populations, by promoting dental health initiatives, or by supporting dental profession career and volunteer opportunities. The focus is on providing resources that will make lasting improvements in the oral health of Minnesotans and enhance the dental profession in the state.

Each year the MDF Board of Directors reviews applications for grants that fit these criteria. Support for programs and oral health initiatives may change each year based upon issues facing the dental profession, but the core principle of benefiting the underserved remains constant. Since 2001, the Foundation has awarded $4.7 million in grants and/or in-kind services to fund 611 oral health initiatives.

Grant Cover Letter 2019 Grant Application

Photo: Funding for the Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program of the Minnesota Dental Foundation (MDF) comes from a grant from the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). These monies provide loan forgiveness funds to attract new dentists to practice in the Taconite Assistance Area (TAA) of northeastern Minnesota. Since 2009, the IRRRB has provided $750,000 to fund this program. Each new dentist must commit to practicing at least five years in a city of their choosing on “The Range.” Presenting the check to Dr. Brekke Hudelson of Hibbing is (L to R): Mike Zakula, MDF Board Member; Mark Phillips, IRRRB Commissioner; Brekke Hudelson, 2019 recipient; and Steve Litton, MDF President.

2018 Recpients

In 2018, MDF gave $484,000 in cash and/or in-kind services to 46 projects. Some of the recipients may have received assistance on more than one project. Of those dollars, funding was provided for six internal programs – the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Donated Dental Services, Martha Mordini Rukavina Loan Forgiveness Program, Minnesota’s Heroes Orthodontic Program and the Retired Dentist Program. In addition, the Dedicated to Minnesota’s Dentists Loan Repayment for Service Program, which is a collaborative effort with Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, provided an additional $400,000 to assist two dentists in starting two practices in rural Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) in Bigfork and Tyler, Minnesota. All of the funded programs help increase access to care for underserved populations or help to build a sustainable oral health workforce in Minnesota.

Give Kids a Smile

The following community clinics received funding and/or in-kind support for the two-day charitable program in February that provides free preventive and restorative dental care to children from low-income families. Grant monies help defray the costs for dental supplies and oral health education materials for the children. In 2018, 2,330 children were seen in 124 community clinics and private dental offices. The value of the services provided was approximately $1.2million by 1,678 volunteers, which included 263 dentists.

Central Lakes College, Brainerd
CHI St. Joseph’s Health Community Dental Clinic, Park Rapids
Children’s Dental Services, Minneapolis
Community Dental Care, Maplewood
Community Dental Care, Robbinsdale
Community Dental Care, Rochester Eastwood
Community Dental Care, St. Paul
Hope Dental Clinic, St. Paul
Lake Superior College, Duluth
Minnesota State University – Mankato, Mankato
Northwest Technical College, Bemidji
Rice Regional Dental Clinic, Willmar
St. Cloud Technical College Dental Clinic, St. Cloud
University of MN School of Dentistry, Minneapolis

Community Outreach

A number of community-based clinics and outreach programs provide critical dental services to children and adults who otherwise would not have access to oral health care.

CARE Clinic, Red Wing
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, St. Cloud
Doorstep Healthcare Services, Inc., St. Louis Park
Fostering Love, Oakdale
Free Clinic of Steele County, Owatonna
Gillette Children’s Hospital Foundation for Gillette Children’s Specialty Care, St. Paul
Give Kids a Smile, Statewide
Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, Minneapolis
Jericho Road Ministries, Minneapolis
Just Kids Dental, Two Harbors
Lakewood Health System, Staples
Let’s Smile, Inc., Owatonna
Minnesota State University – Mankato, Mankato
Mission Outpost Dental Clinic/Prince of Peace Church, Burnsville
Mobile Loaves Twin Cities (MLTC), Minneapolis
North Shore Health Care Foundation, Grand Marais
Open Door Health Center, Mankato
Ready Set Smile, Minneapolis
Red River Dental Access Project, Moorhead
Sharing and Caring Hands, Minneapolis
TeamSmile, Inc., North Kansas City
UMN Community University Health Care Center (CUHCC), Minneapolis
West Central Initiative, Fergus Falls

Allied Dental Education Programs

The following organization in Minnesota received a grant to help with resources to assist with educating dental auxiliaries while providing care to the underserved.

Central Lakes College, Brainerd

See Grant Archives

View the Minnesota Dental Foundation’s Donor Privacy Policy here.