February 13, 2015 (St. Paul, MN) – The Patterson Foundation recently awarded a grant of $53,795 to Operation Grace MN, a charitable organization that provides essential dental services to low-income individuals and families through mobile dental clinics in Minnesota. Operation Grace MN will use the funding to support the work of the dental professional volunteers who staff the clinics and provide care to those in need.
Patterson Dental donated a service van and dental equipment, coordinated through Patterson Dental Minnesota Branch Manager Dan Konicek, who sits on the Operation Grace MN board of directors. The van enables Operation Grace MN to transport dental equipment to schools, homeless shelters and other locations where the need is great.
This support from Operation Grace MN’s biggest sponsors comes at a crucial time, as two organizations that had been providing care to underserved communities in Minnesota recently ceased operations. Operation Grace MN hopes to bridge the gap by keeping its mobile dental clinic, called Lil’ Flossie, on the road. “The Patterson Foundation and Patterson Dental have really stepped up to fill this void and keep the vision for this clinic alive and growing in Minnesota,” Operation Grace MN Executive Director John Braddock noted.
Gary Johnson, president of the Patterson Foundation, has seen firsthand what Operation Grace MN is accomplishing – and the potential for reaching many more people. “There is a serious need for access to dental care in our communities,” he said. “The Foundation believes in Operation Grace MN. Their efforts, along with the dental volunteers who are generously giving their time and talent, are very effectively addressing this need.”
Operation Grace MN mobilizes volunteer dental professionals who provide oral hygiene, preventive education and basic treatment through about 16 clinics a month. Their goal is to serve more than 1,500 patients in 2015. Operation Grace MN, which serves primarily the Twin Cities metro area, recently expanded to Duluth, Minn., and is targeting other outstate communities as well. “The gift of the service van from Patterson Dental was absolutely central to our strategy for educating and treating more people and expanding this outreach,” Braddock added. “A leader in the dental industry like Patterson Dental investing in Operation Grace MN makes a significant statement to the dental community and is encouraging to dentists and staff who volunteer, which is our most substantial need.”
For more information about Operation Grace MN and volunteer opportunities, please visit operationgracemn.org.
About the Patterson Foundation
Patterson Foundation is a private grant-making foundation that is separate from Patterson Dental and Patterson Companies business operations. The Foundation focuses its resources on human services and education programs related to oral health, animal health, and occupational and physical rehabilitation, especially programs in which healthcare professionals in these fields volunteer their services to disadvantaged people or individuals with special needs. The Foundation also awards higher education scholarships to children of Patterson Companies employees. The Patterson Foundation is funded primarily by current and former employees of Patterson Companies, Inc.
About Patterson Dental
Patterson Dental, a leading distributor of dental products, equipment and technology in the U.S. and Canada, serves as the largest business in the progressive, global Patterson Companies (Nasdaq: PDCO) family of businesses. Patterson is committed to creating value for customers through products, services and lasting relationships.
CONTACT: Tammy Love, Corporate Communications/PR Specialist
COMPANY: Patterson Companies, Inc.