PHOENIX (March 10, 2020) – Dental care nonprofit, Brighter Way Institute, has been awarded a $900,000 multi-year grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. The Arizona-based organization is dedicated to transforming lives by improving the oral health of economically disadvantaged and significantly underserved individuals in its community. The grant will allow Brighter Way to expand the reach of its Mobile Dental Unit and support the four dental centers operating in the greater Phoenix area.
“Far from a luxury, proper dental care plays a major role in a person’s wellbeing,” said businesswoman Renee Parsons. “The work of Brighter Way Institute is relieving pain, improving health, increasing self-confidence and restoring employability among our community’s most vulnerable populations.”
Brighter Way patients are most often uninsured or underinsured, live at or below the national poverty level and deal with a variety of social and health disparities. Many of them present with extreme and complicated oral health disease. Dental decay can lead to chronic respiratory infections, poor academic or work performance and social isolation. These conditions often have devastating consequences throughout a person’s life.
“The gift from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation will enable us to expand our services to reach even more people in need,” said Brighter Way Institute’s Founder and CEO Kris Volcheck, DDS. “Our patients include children who may have never been to a dentist, older youth, adults, veterans and seniors. Many of whom face homelessness or poverty and have not had access to oral healthcare for several years.”
A reported 30 percent of Arizona (1.3 million individuals) has limited access to dental care. By utilizing an innovative model that incorporates staff and volunteer dentists and local dental educational institutions – engaging both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors – Brighter Way is significantly addressing the growing needs and health inequities among the poor and homeless in Maricopa County.
“Brighter Way Institute is doing a whole lot more than giving people a nice smile or straight teeth,” said entrepreneur Bob Parsons. “Proper dental care is critical for maintaining overall health and improving long-term outcomes for people in marginalized communities.”
Brighter Way provides a complete range of oral healthcare services from general preventive care (exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, fillings) to complex restoration (root canals, extractions, dentures, crowns and implants). In 2018, Brighter Way provided more than 95,200 oral health services and served 11,200 individual patients in roughly 35,500 visits. To learn more, visit brighterwaydental.org.
About Brighter Way Institute
Brighter Way was founded by Dr. Kris Volcheck in 2001 and initially operated as a pilot project out of a small trailer located in downtown Phoenix. Its mission is to provide comprehensive oral healthcare for vulnerable adults, children, veterans, those experiencing homelessness and individuals with special needs. In 2016, Brighter Way Institute became an independent nonprofit organization. Today, its four dental centers and Mobile Dental Unit provide a complete range of comprehensive and restorative oral healthcare services that range from general preventive care (exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, fillings) to complex restoration (root canals, extractions, dentures, crowns, and implants). brighterwaydental.org.
About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation offers support to nonprofit organizations successfully working to empower, educate, nurture and nourish people during what is often the darkest time of their lives. Founded in 2012 by philanthropists and business leaders Bob and Renee Parsons to provide hope and life-changing assistance to the country’s most vulnerable populations, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation offers critical funding at critical times to those in need. The Foundation’s giving is driven by the core belief that all people – regardless of race, religion, roots, economic status, sexual orientation or gender identity – deserve access to quality healthcare, education and a safe place to call home. Follow @WeDealInHope on social media.