United Way joins Seeds of Change Anniversary Campaign

United Way of 1000 Lakes is working to advance Dental Care access across Itasca County and surrounding communities to address the findings of our 2021 Community Needs Assessment. The findings underscored dental care access among the key issues for the health and well-being of individuals and families (31% of survey responses highlight healthcare access as a high priority). In response, United Way of 1000 Lakes committed to convening collective action around goals and community issue areas by leading and supporting coalitions.

At the start of 2024, United Way and the Forward Health Foundation joined forces to form a Dental Collaboration. Within a few short months, local partners were meeting regularly to better understand the local landscape and barriers that exist in the Itasca area to dental care access. Members include regional leaders, decision-makers, and representatives across sectors, including local nonprofits that serve families without a dental home, local dentists, local government, educators, and caring community members. Through a multi-faceted approach, the collaboration is working to build the dental workforce and the residents who rely on them for care.

To help seed the work ahead, we have joined the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation (GRACF) Seeds of Change Anniversary Campaign. Funds will support dental career exploration and internship programs, state and local grants and scholarship navigation, community-based dental care expansion, and recruitment and retention of the dental workforce.

Help increase dental access in Itasca County by casting your vote today. Every vote increases our chances of being awarded funds and helps to ensure everyone in our region has a dental home. Voting is open until August 2, 2024, when the top three will advance to the finals.

Vote today –>