NE Florida is our Home

That's why it's important to us to see the area grow healthier, safer and stronger for our neighbors and family through the support of local nonprofit organizations. Over the past twelve years, The Sontag Foundation has committed $10 million dollars to support nonprofit initiatives throughout Northeast Florida. Programs that have been impacted by that funding have provided resources for individuals to live healthy and productive lives.

A More Targeted Initiative

After the completion of the 2013 Northeast Florida grant funding cycle, Sontag's Board of Directors began planning for a new, more targeted grant initiative with the sustained goal of seeing the area grow healthier. An extensive 16 month internal review was conducted that included consultation with nonprofits agencies, associations, foundations, educational institutions and public/private entities to obtain an understanding of the overarching needs impacting the self-sufficiency and quality of life of individuals here in Northeast Florida.

From the research, it was evident that there was an overwhelming need to address the service gaps around access to oral health in our community for under-served and vulnerable populations. 

The numbers we found were staggering. 

  • Oral Health in America: A report of the Surgeon General, named oral health disparities as the "silent epidemic", with oral health related illnesses resulting in 20.5 million lost workdays each year. It is estimated that approximately half of these "emergencies" resulted from preventable conditions.
  • University of Florida College of Dentistry states that oral health problems rank among the most prevalent unmet health needs in the U.S.
  • According to a report by the University of Florida, economic impact for the state of Florida in 2013 was $191,727,312 for dental related emergency department charges, with a total 153,886 visits. Duval County dental related emergency department visits totaled 10,320 with $16,108,919 in total charges.
  • In 2013, 49% of adults with private coverage had a dental visit in the last year, compared to 20% of adults with Medicaid/CHIP and 17% of uninsured adults. (source: ADA Health Policy Institute analysis of Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, October 2015).

Oral Health for NE Florida

The Sontag Foundation is tackling the barrier to oral health care by committing funds to a new partnership model. In order to expand the dental services of the newly constructed Healing Hands Dental and Medical Clinic of Community Health Outreach, we have facilitated a collaboration which combines the dental resources and management expertise of The Sulzbacher Center with the dental outreach services of Community Health Outreach. The Sontag Foundation anticipates that this innovative model will have a long term impact on addressing the service gaps in oral health care, as well as increasing the awareness of the importance of good oral health care on the quality of life of individuals in our community.

The Sontag Foundation's commitment to this new initiative will span several years. No unsolicited grant proposals are being accepted by The Sontag Foundation for NE Florida, and no new Request for Proposals for NE Florida will be posted in the foreseeable future.