Ford Fund, Delta Dental, Kare Mobile and Lightship Foundation Launch Effort to Mobilize Dental Care, Meet Urgent Needs in Detroit
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Detroit, Michigan– Ford Motor Company Fund and Delta Dental are teaming up with Kare Mobile to help address an urgent shortfall in many underserved Detroit neighborhoods – the lack of quality, reliable dental care. The joint initiative, which also includes Lightship Foundation, is launching the Motor City Kares giveaway to offer one minority dentist the opportunity to win a $150,000 Ford Transit mobile dental office to serve children and families in low-income communities.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. If left untreated, cavities can cause pain and infections, lead to eating and speaking problems and other serious consequences. Children with poor oral health often miss more school and receive lower grades than children receiving regular dental care.
“Quality, reliable dental care is not available to many children in Detroit’s most underserved zip codes,” said Dr. Kwane Watson, founder and CEO, Kare Mobile. “We expect this initiative to help change that because everyone deserves access to comprehensive oral health care.”
The Motor City Kares giveaway runs from March 5 – April 23. Interested minority dental professionals can visit kare.mobi/mck to learn more and apply. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges from Ford Fund, Kare Mobile, Delta Dental and Lightship Foundation and notified in late spring.
The winning dentist will operate the mobile dental clinic for at least two years, which will allow them to build a stable practice including non-Medicaid patients – creating a sustainable business for themselves and a long-term dental resource for the community.
“This partnership is about improving public health and building community wealth,” said Margaret Trimer, vice president of strategic partnerships for Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. “We are not solely investing in dental care but lifting up minority entrepreneurs so they can provide critical access to care right here in Detroit.”
The giveaway winner will be mentored by the team at Kare Mobile and attend an incubator bootcamp run by Lightship Foundation – the first inclusion-focused entrepreneur advancement program in the Midwest. Delta Dental and Ford Fund worked together on the purchase and retrofitting of the Transit Van.
Over the course of the two-year agreement, the winning dentist will be required to serve in southeast Michigan at least 50 percent of their time and help provide reliable dental care in southwest Detroit’s Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods. They will leverage services currently provided by the Ford Resource and Engagement Center in southwest Detroit, as well as Michigan Central Station’s mobility-based programs and operations. At the end of the agreement, the business and mobile clinic is theirs to keep.
“The Motor City Kares giveaway allows us to combine Ford’s expertise in transportation with Ford Fund’s commitment to strengthening communities,” said Mary Culler, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are pleased to support an innovative mobility solution that brings essential dental services directly to residents and that will benefit these neighborhoods for years to come.”
About Kare Mobile
Kare Mobile offers concierge, mobile dentistry through its network of dentist and hygienist licensees across the United States. Our affordable startup program helps new practices launch affordably and quickly, and our robust dental support services help to ensure they operate efficiently and profitably. Most importantly, Kare Mobile patients receive comprehensive, safe, and ultra-convenient treatment. We are not only disrupting the dental industry but are also improving access to dental care for millions of Americans! www.kare.mobi
About Ford Motor Company Fund
As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund's mission is to strengthen communities and help make people's lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 50 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Delta Dental of Michigan
Delta Dental of Michigan and its affiliates in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee collectively are among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2019, the enterprise paid out nearly $4 billion for dental care for more than 14 million members. Offices are located in Okemos and Farmington Hills, Mich.; Sherwood and Little Rock, Ark.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio; and Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn.
About Lightship Foundation
Lightship Foundation works to find and fund remarkable tech driven businesses led by underrepresented founders. With a focus on developing ecosystems across the US which are typically overlooked by traditional programming, we guide founders through our platforms, supporting them with education, content, meaningful network access and investment.