Brighter Way Institute Receives Grant for Veterans

Brighter Way Institute Receives $17,000 Grant from Disabled Veterans National Foundation for Oral Health Services to Veterans

06.30.2023

Brighter Way Institute, a leading Arizona-based non-profit organization, with a mission to provide comprehensive oral health care for vulnerable adults, children, veterans, those experiencing homelessness, and individuals with special needs, is honored to announce a  $17,000 grant, generously awarded by the Disabled Veterans National Foundation (DVNF). The Board of Directors and Veteran patients are grateful for this Capacity Building Grant that will be instrumental in supporting our on-going commitment to expand complex surgical implant services and restore smiles to our esteemed Veterans who have selflessly served our country.  

The provision of comprehensive oral health care and restorative services to Veterans is an essential element in overcoming disparities related to poverty and homelessness and crucial to their overall health and well-being. Through this grant Brighter Way Institute is bridging a gap in oral health services by overcoming access and cost barriers faced by Veterans in our community. This initiative is coordinated by Brighter Way Institute’s Program Director, Dr. Todd Erickson, DDS, MS, the only dually certified oral/maxillofacial surgeon/radiologist in the nation.  The Center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, furnishings and supplies secured through local, national and international manufacturing in-kind donations.  

Joseph VanFonda (USMC Sgt.Maj. Ret.), CEO of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation said, “What motivates us as an organization is to see how Capacity Building Grants are impacting Veterans in communities across the Nation. The organizations and innovative projects we support are giving Veterans a helping hand to navigate their way back to normal life.” 

The Brighter Way Diane & Bruce Halle Brighter Way Dental Center is co-located on the Phoenix Human Services Campus with 15 complimentary non-profits all serving low-income and homeless adults to meet physical, mental health, employment, housing, food insecurity and other needs. The 2023 homelessness Point-In-Time (PIT) Count in Maricopa County has reported a total of 9,642 people experiencing homelessness outside of shelters – this is up from 5,029 in 2022. Through this count, 505 Veterans experienced homelessness in 2023 – an increase of 20%  over 2022.  

Dr. Kris Volcheck, DDS, Founding CEO of Brighter Way stated, “This gift is transformational as more of our homeless Veteran population will now receive the complex oral health care they need. This is a unique pathway to increase our capacity to serve more of our most needy brothers and sisters, relieve chronic pain, reduce disparities, and provide an unprecedented level of specialized services. Through collaborations at the Human Services Campus, we are also able to help address other social factors impacting our Veterans’ overall well-being. For the first time in years, these individuals return to their community with their wholeness restored and a bright future in store for them. Our thanks to DVNF.” 

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