According to the Surgeon General's Oral Health in America Report, tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease. "This donation is a small step to insure that each Head Start child in Iowa has their very own toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss," said Donn Hutchins, president of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation.
"As leaders in the community, we value the importance of supporting and improving the oral health of Head Start children at a critical time in their development," said Martha Willits, President of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
Attendees of the Partnership's DM/DC trip and Iowa's Congressional delegation had the opportunity to learn more about Delta Dental's national alliance with the Head Start Association. The donation was presented at the Iowa Head Start Association Directors July meeting in Des Moines.
The Iowa Head Start Association represents 18 locally-operated, federally-funded Head Start programs that provide comprehensive child development programs for 3-to 5-year-old children from low-income families in 98 of Iowa's 99 counties. Head Start provides services to promote academic, social and emotional development, as well as providing social, health and nutrition services. Head Start serves 7,915 children (2006-07) from 7,312 families in Iowa.
The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic development organization serving Central Iowa, representing more than 260 investors and 4,200 regional business members. The Partnership is united with its regional Affiliate Chambers of Commerce from Dallas, Polk and Warren Counties to drive economic growth with one voice, one mission, and as one region.
Delta Dental of Iowa is the largest and most experienced provider of dental benefits in the state. As a not-for-profit, Delta Dental of Iowa invests in oral health projects through the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation that focus on access to care, prevention, education and research. The Iowa company is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, a national organization of not-for-profit Delta Dental plans. The national association is the largest dental benefits carrier in the nation providing coverage to 54 million people in more than 93,600 employer groups.