Wheeling Health Right Receives $50,000 Grant
From Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health
Grant Awarded for the Expansion of Dental Clinic
Wheeling, W.Va. – Wheeling Health Right is one of 20 West Virginia-based non-profit organizations to receive funding from the newly created Highmark West Virginia’s Charitable Fund for Health to support programs that will address social determinates of health and oral care in West Virginia. Wheeling Health Right will receive a grant for $50,000, the maximum allowable award under this grant program. Funds will be used to expand its dental services.
Kathie Brown, Executive Director, has been successful in raising nearly $400,000 for the design, construction, and equipment costs associated with the expansion of the Dental Clinic. The grant from the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health will help with the expansion of dental staff, and with the purchase of disposable dental supplies. “Although we will continue to benefit from the dental services donated by our generous volunteer dentists, being able to hire dental staff will allow us to serve even more patients in dire need of dental care,” said Brown.
“One of the funding priorities of the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health is to provide enhanced access to dental care for West Virginians. Highmark is pleased to partner with Wheeling Health Right as it adds dental staff to better serve its community,” said Jim Fawcett, president of Highmark West Virginia.
It is Wheeling Health Right’s mission to break down the barriers of access to health care. Community members whose earnings are at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for services. The Dental Clinic opened in 2016 to address the correlation between oral health and overall primary health. The Dental Clinic treats a growing number of patients each year, from over 130 patients in 2016, to a projected 600 patients by the end of 2021. The number of procedures has grown over this time as well. In 2016 the Dental Clinic conducted 1,029 procedures. By the end of 2021 it is projected that the Dental Clinic will perform nearly 6,500 procedures. “We believe this expansion will allow us to provide dental care to 1,000 people by the end of next year,” added Brown. We are extremely grateful for the generous support from our community, and especially that of the Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health,” she concluded.
About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 246,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard® program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Virginia holds the largest share of the commercial market, and more West Virginians carry a Blue Cross Blue Shield card than any other insurance carrier in the state. With offices in Parkersburg and Wheeling, Highmark West Virginia employs approximately 700 people and serves as a key economic driver in the state with its total economic impact reaching $262 million.
The Highmark Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private, charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals and communities throughout the areas served by Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. We fulfill our mission by awarding high-impact grants to charitable organizations that implement evidence-based programs aimed at improving community health. Central to the Foundation’s mission is identifying and continuously re-evaluation our region’s prevailing health care needs. By doing so, the Foundation remains at the forefront of those needs, well equipped to pinpoint issues that most urgently need support. For more information, visit www.highmarkfoundation.org.
About Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund
The Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health is a restricted fund of the Highmark Foundation. The Charitable Fund for Health‘s mission is to improve the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals who reside in all 55 counties in West Virginia. The Highmark West Virginia Charitable Fund for Health strives to support programs that impact multiple counties and work collaboratively to leverage additional funding to achieve replicable models. For more information, visit www.highmarkfoundation.org.