Ford has been hard at work in recent years giving back to the communities it sells vehicles to, most recently supporting Latina entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19, and offering scholarships to minorities interested in pursuing a career in engineering. Back in March, the automaker also announced that it was launching the Motor City Kares giveaway to offer one minority dentist the opportunity to win a $150,000 Ford Transit mobile dental office to serve children and families in low-income communities. Now, a new Ford Transit van donation program from the automaker has selected two minority-led Michigan dental health providers to gift a mobile dentist office to.
The Ford Transit van donation program under Motor City Kares aims to bring high-quality dental services to underserved areas in Southwest Detroit. To do that, Ford has teamed up with Delta Dental and Kare Mobile to outfit its special mobile dental clinics with everything the operators need to provide oral health care to those in low-income communities.
The first recipient of these special vans is Hygiene on Wheels, which was created by registered dental hygienist Deanna Alexander back in 2008. Alexandar has been providing oral hygiene education and dental care to underserved populations for years now, but her new mobile clinic will allow her to expand those services to a broader audience.
“I was already providing service with a small portable unit, but this opportunity is allowing me to grow my business, establish even more of a presence in the community and, ultimately, serve and help even more people,” Alexander said. “Mobile dentistry is the future and this van is going to be the best thing ever for me.”
The second Transit van was donated to My Community Dental Center (MCDC), which is Michigan’s largest state-wide nonprofit dental service organization. Founded in 2006, MCDC currently has 34 locations across the state, serving patients with all sorts of insurance coverage, as well as those with no coverage at all.
“Working in Detroit, we have witnessed first-hand challenges and struggles related to poverty, unemployment, and health disparities,” said Dr. Deborah Brown, CEO, My Community Dental Centers. “Reliable transportation is one of the most common barriers for patients. These challenges are heightened for persons with lower incomes or for those enrolled in Medicaid. According to recent American Community Survey data, approximately 41 percent of the population in Corktown and Mexicantown are enrolled in Medicaid alone or a combination. We are so pleased to be a part of this partnership providing a mobile solution to improve access to dental care within these two communities – delivering one smile at a time!”