Transformational partnership increases access to community dental care

Evidence continues to indicate that poor oral health impacts an individual’s overall health and quality of life. To combat this issue, the Foundation of Greater Montreal (FGM), Green Shield Canada (GSC) and the McGill University Faculty of Dentistry have teamed up to improve access to dental care for those who need it most.

Through a $268,000 grant from the GSC Community Impact Fund, a fund established by GSC at the FGM to support oral and mental health projects in Montreal, the Faculty of Dentistry will be able to expand its Service to the Community program over the next two years. Together, we are building a healthier future for all.

For more than two decades, the McGill University Faculty of Dentistry’s Service to the Community Program has served as a leader and a model for dental schools across the country. Today, more than ever, dentists must function as full partners in a network of interprofessional care providers.

Partnering with GSC and the FGM, the Faculty is expanding and improving upon the community services it offers by increasing its capacity to treat patients in partner community centres and affiliated hospitals, generating data-driven research to deliver change, and providing resources to clinician-scientists to inform policy and decision makers in matters of public dental health.

Through a network of six mobile and fixed-dental clinics that are almost entirely donor-funded, the Faculty’s Service to the Community Program sets the example in altruism for Canadian dental schools.

“We’re proud to partner with the FGM and the Faculty of Dentistry to help increase access to dental care for the many people who might otherwise be unable to afford it,” explains Steve Laberge, GSC’s Vice President, Quebec. “Through GSC’s social impact program, we focus on access to oral health care because it’s a part of the healthcare system that is so often under-funded and under-resourced. These challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, which is why we are thrilled to support the transformational work that the Faculty of Dentistry is undertaking to make our communities stronger and healthier.”

“This innovative partnership between GSC and FGM allows us to make a real impact in the Greater Montréal community, especially in the lives of some of our most vulnerable people,” adds Tasha Lackman, Vice-President of Philanthropy and Community at FGM. “Dental care is healthcare, and through its Service to the Community program, McGill’s Faculty of Dentistry is showing true leadership in defending this very simple – yet overlooked – idea. A lot of work remains to be done in order to help those who need it, but we are proud to support the Service to the Community program in that endeavor.”

GSC is Canada’s fourth-largest health and dental benefits provider and is uniquely structured as a social enterprise with the purpose of making it easier for people to live their healthiest lives. From coast-to-coast, our service delivery includes drug, dental, extended health care, vision, hospital, and travel benefits for groups and individuals, as well as administration and benefits management services. Supported by outcomes-based sustainability strategies, advanced technology, and exceptional customer service, GSC creates innovative programs for nearly four million plan participants nationwide.

The Foundation of Greater Montreal helps individuals, families and organizations to get involved and support their community by creating funds for selected causes in all sectors. In addition to publishing the Vital Signs of Greater Montreal report, FGM manages the assets of over 700 funds, guides donors and supports community charitable organizations. A member of the Community Foundations of Canada, a network of 191 community foundations, FGM promotes philanthropy as a major driver for well-being in Greater Montreal.



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