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Vivent Health Receives $50,000 Grant from Delta Dental of Missouri

Gift will increase access to quality dental services and health outcomes for people living with HIV in St. Louis

Vivent Health announced today that they are the recipient of a $50,000 grant award from Delta Dental of Missouri, the state’s dental benefits leader and a non-profit organization. This gift will ensure over 300 patients affected by HIV in the St. Louis area will have access to high-quality preventative and restorative oral health care through Vivent Health’s recently opened dental clinic, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and well into the future. Vivent Health is the only organization in the St. Louis area offering dental care within an HIV Medical Home model and the single dental practice in the region that focuses exclusively on HIV oral health care. Since the Vivent Health dental clinic opened in November 2020, 62 patients have already received services through one dental visit.

Vivent Health and Delta Dental of Missouri share the belief that the health and wellness of a person is multi-dimensional and that an integrated, patient-centered model of care is key. Co-locating dental care with primary medical care, behavioral health, pharmacy, case management and social services helps Vivent Health patients achieve the best health outcomes possible in the St. Louis community. Much like the COVID-19 pandemic, HIV increasingly affects underserved populations; 83% of Vivent Health patients in St. Louis live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level and nearly 75% of the people our dental clinic serves are uninsured or underinsured. For Vivent Health patients to thrive, basic needs like oral health care must be met and accessible, particularly in dental health provider shortage areas and to underserved populations in St. Louis.

“Thanks to the generosity of Delta Dental of Missouri, we can remain relentless in providing the best, inclusive care, including oral health care, to at-risk and immunocompromised individuals in the St. Louis community,” said Michael J. Gifford, President and Chief Executive Officer for Vivent Health. “Our evolving service delivery model throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, along with our recently opened dental clinic in St. Louis, are examples of our steadfast commitment to helping people living with and at-risk for HIV in St. Louis thrive, while also allowing us to continue in pursuit of a world without HIV/AIDS.”

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), more than a third of all people living with HIV have at least one oral condition such as tooth decay or gum infection. Despite the prevalence of oral health complications for people living with HIV, more than 58% of people living with HIV do not have access to regular dental care due to lack of insurance, inability to pay, fear and stigma and limited awareness or access to available resources. Additionally, many dental providers in St. Louis do not accept Medicare and Medicaid, further decreasing access to dental resources. Vivent Health’s dental clinic provides a full array of oral health care that serves people living with HIV, including comprehensive exams, diagnostic x-rays, periodontal evaluations and non-surgical periodontal therapy, nutritional evaluation, prophylaxis, oral cancer screening, fluoride treatments, fillings, full and partial dentures, root canal therapy and oral surgery. Funding from Delta Dental of Missouri will help cover oral health services for uninsured and underserved people living with HIV who would otherwise not have access to quality dental care.

Vivent Health will continue to provide comprehensive care, treatment and prevention services to improve the health and quality of life of people living with and at-risk for HIV. At the core of its mission is to help close gaps in care through innovative health care and prevention strategies that meet the needs of people in the St. Louis community. We are committed to addressing holistic care ensuring the people we serve have the critical tools needed to achieve the best health outcomes amidst the ongoing HIV, sexually transmitted infection, opioid and COVID-19 epidemics.

VIVENT HEALTH

Vivent Health is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Vivent Health is best known for its high-quality HIV patient outcomes and operates the only HIV Medical Home in America recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The HIV Medical Home model of care offers integrated health and social services including medical, dental, mental health and pharmacies, along with case management and social support provided by a team of professionals dedicated to patient care. Vivent Health is also a leading provider of innovative and aggressive prevention services that help at-risk individuals remain HIV negative. Vivent Health operates in 17 locations in Colorado, Missouri, Texas and Wisconsin, and serves tens of thousands of people at-risk for HIV, and more than 10,000 people living with HIV annually. To learn more about Vivent Health go to www.viventhealth.org. 

DELTA DENTAL OF MISSOURI

Delta Dental of Missouri is the state’s leading dental benefits provider and a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. It provides more than 2.1 million members with access to affordable, high-quality dental care through group plans tailored to meet the needs of organizations of all sizes, from large corporations to small businesses with two or more employees. Delta Dental also offers dental benefit plans directly to individuals and families. It provides access to affordable, high-quality vision care as well through group vision benefit plans. The company proudly supports oral health initiatives, educational programs and charitable causes that help educate people about the importance of dental health and provide free dental care to those in need. Delta Dental of Missouri also created the Missouri Dental Care Resource Guide to help individuals access information about low-cost and free dental care options in their area—available online at www.DeltaDentalMO.com/ResourceGuide1. To learn more about the company, visit www.DeltaDentalMO.com.