Global Health Nexus, Summer 2003

New York State and The Starr Foundation Award
Major Grants in Support of Smiling Faces, Going Places

The Smiling Faces, Going Places mobile dental care program, which brings dental care to underserved populations in New York City and State, has received grants of $250,000 each from New York State and The Starr Foundation. Each grant represents the third consecutive time that New York State and The Starr Foundation have awarded major support for the program.

The van was launched in January 2000, and each year performs over 7,000 pediatric procedures on children who have no other means of obtaining dental care. Last year alone, the dental van program provided a total of 10,324 visits for screenings, preventive services, and comprehensive care to 5,162 children ages 2 to 14. Eighty percent of those children lacked dental insurance and were treated for free.

Dean Alfano commended the public-private sector philanthropic partnership represented by New York State and The Starr Foundation, and added, “We express profound gratitude to New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the New York State Legislature, and to the officers and trustees of The Starr Foundation, one of the most respected philanthropies in the world, for sending a clear message that helping to improve the oral health and well-being of underserved New York youngsters is a priority.”