Grant program improves access to dental care one life at a time

Grant program improves access to dental care one life at a time 4/17/2018

Okemos, Michigan—Quality, affordable dental care isn’t always easy to come by.

For the Angermeier family of Owensville care only became a reality when they discovered Tulip Tree Family Health Care, a community health center in Fort Branch which provides dental care to those who are in need and uninsured.

AngermeierTheir son, Billy who is 20, is hearing impaired, non-verbal and has cerebral palsy.

Individuals with cerebral palsy are at a higher risk of dental decay because they are unable to easily clear food from their mouths and need a caregiver to brush their teeth. Because cerebral palsy causes him to have strong reflexes in his mouth, Billy requires gentle and careful professional treatment, Robin Angermeier, Billy’s mother said.

Dr. Naga Anumolu-Alapati and Tulip Tree staff have cared for Billy over the past six years, something which Robin is incredibly grateful for—she knows his special needs require special care and attention.

“Tulip Tree provides a wonderful service for our community,” Robin said. “The staff is extremely patient and caring. They are knowledgeable and have made recommendations on how to better care for [Billy’s] teeth.”

Over the years, Tulip Tree has received $17,000 from the Delta Dental Foundation’s Brighter Futures Community Grants program which directly helps patients like Billy receive specialized care.

The grant helps cover the gap between what Tulip Tree receives in patient fees and what it costs to provide the care. 

“With the help of the Delta Dental Foundation grant we were able to add another day of dental service in response to growing patient demand,” said Maureen Shepherd, Tulip Tree Executive Director. “In 2018, our Brighter Futures Grant will allow us to continue to focus our care on the underserved.”

In addition to providing funding to Tulip Tree, 51 other organizations across Indiana, Michigan and Ohio were recipients of Brighter Futures Community grants this year, collectively totaling $150,000.

Funding is provided to various community organizations and programs that promote or provide oral health care for children or adults.

To learn more about the Brighter Futures Community Grant program, visit

About Delta Dental Foundation
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and North Carolina. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public and to advancing dental science through education and research. For more information, visit