ECU School of Dental Medicine awarded Delta Dental Foundation grants

Thanks to two generous grants from the Delta Dental Foundation, the ECU School of Dental Medicine will continue its efforts of providing transformational care to rural and underserved communities across the state. The combined $17,000 in grant funding supports a range of initiatives this year, including new programming to expand the school’s existing veteran care and outreach programs across eastern North Carolina.

A portion of the funds supports the purchase of an X-ray scanner for the SoDM’s Community Service Learning Center in Sylva. The equipment will replace a machine that is critically needed and will allow the clinic to easily connect patients with expansive resources through a digital records system.

School of Dental Medicine Smiles for Vets volunteers were recognized during ECU’s Military Appreciation football game against Navy in September.

School of Dental Medicine Smiles for Vets volunteers were recognized during ECU’s Military Appreciation football game against Navy in September. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

The remaining $10,000 is designated for two veteran care and outreach initiatives. Through the partnership with Veteran Smiles Foundation (VSF), the SoDM will hold two Smiles for Veterans’ events this fall — in Sylva and Bolivia — where qualifying and pre-screened veterans will receive free dental treatment.

Funds from the grant also support the expansion of the Veteran Patient Care Fund, which allows the SoDM to provide preventative and emergency care to veterans across the state throughout the year.

“Delta Dental’s support of the ECU School of Dental Medicine and our mission across the state has helped meet critical needs in patient care, equipment and education,” said Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “Our partnership with Delta Dental has enhanced care for veterans in need, emergency care for patients during the pandemic as well as technology and equipment needed to meet the demands of caring for rural communities.” 

This new funding is a continuation of the Delta Dental Foundation’s ongoing commitment to ECU. In 2020, the foundation awarded a $10,000 grant that allowed the school to provide for a variety of resources related to COVID-19. And in 2021, a $20,000 gift helped to secure an intraoral camera for outreach in partnership with the Veterans Life Center, contributing to the expansion of the Smiles for Veterans program and the Smiles for Veterans Patient Care Fund.

“Delta Dental of North Carolina has long enjoyed our partnership with the ECU School of Dental Medicine, through corporate support and grants from our foundation for the school’s Community Service Learning Centers and veteran dental care,” said Elaine Loyack, Delta Dental vice president of community engagement and government relations. “By supporting ECU Smiles for Veterans’ events, our foundation can be a part of serving those who served our country. Twice, I’ve had the privilege of attending Smiles for Veterans events, which allowed me to meet the veterans receiving care and hear their stories. Often, these men and women have gone years with missing teeth or lived with chronic pain. The ECU faculty, students, clinic staff and volunteer dentists help restore smiles and relieve pain.”

About Delta Dental of North Carolina

For more than 50 years, Delta Dental of North Carolina (DDNC) has championed healthy smiles across the state as North Carolina’s leading dental insurer. A member of the Delta Dental Plans Association, DDNC is part of the largest dental insurance network in the nation, covering more than 80 million Americans. DDNC is pleased to provide both dental and now vision insurance administered by VSP Vision Care to businesses as part of their employee benefits, and directly to individuals and families. Our mission is to improve the oral health and the overall well-being of the communities we serve. Learn more about Delta Dental of North Carolina at and DeltaVision at

About the Delta Dental Foundation

The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) 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 DDF is dedicated to developing and enhancing partnerships and programs to improve oral and overall health and health equity. For more information, visit

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