November 7, 2023

GreenShield grants $750,000 to Université Laval's Faculty of Dentistry to improve access to oral health care

GreenShield grants $750,000 to Université Laval's Faculty of Dentistry to improve access to oral health care

Quebec City, November 7, 2023 - Université Laval's Faculty of Dentistry and GreenShield have launched a partnership agreement that will provide free oral health care to low-income individuals in the Greater Quebec City area. The project is supported by a GreenShield Cares through a $750,000 grant, part of GreenShield’s over $20 million commitment to improve overall health by way of better oral health. 

"Oral health care is not just a matter of personal well-being, but a fundamental component of overall health and quality of life.  Regrettably, equitable access to oral health care remains precarious for many equity seeking populations across Canada,” said Zahid Salman, President and CEO of GreenShield. “As a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission of championing better health for all, GreenShield is committed to improving health outcomes for Canadians. One of the ways we deliver on this is by making oral health services more accessible for underserved and marginalized communities, and this partnership is yet another way we can help ensure all Canadians have equitable access to care they need."

The collaboration, which runs until March 2025, also includes a research component that will gather evidence on health determinants, as well as document the impact of access to free dental care on the individual, their family and society in general. The Faculty will work with GreenShield and its community partners in the Greater Quebec City area, including CIUSS de la Capitale Nationale, and other key organizations to expand the reach of this initiative.

"Historically, the Faculty has been committed to improving access to oral health care for a variety of segments of the population, including those with low incomes, and this project is fully rooted in that vision, which we carry with pride," points out Professor of Community Dental Health and head of the ACCES Clinic, Dr Aimée Dawson. "In terms of the training and values we instill in our students, both undergraduate and graduate, this is an additional opportunity to develop an ethical and professional approach, adapted to the needs of patients, regardless of their economic and social status."

Research has revealed significant gaps in access to dental services across Canada. Currently, one in five Canadians avoid visiting a dental clinic due to cost, and approximately one-third of Canadians lack dental insurance coverage. However, oral health care plays a significant role in the overall health of individuals and impacts health outcomes, as medical research shows a link between poor oral health and other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

GreenShield is driven by its purpose and mission to tackle complex issues. Through GreenShield Cares, it creates meaningful positive change and social impact in communities across Canada. GreenShield Cares’ oral health program is on a mission to bridge gaps in service and improve access to oral health care. Through partnerships with leading academic institutions, such as Université Laval's Faculty of Dentistry, and front-line community health providers, the program has helped over 45,000 underserved Canadians access free oral health services. 

About GreenShield

GreenShield is an integrated health and benefits organization and the first organization in Canada to operate as a payer-provider — offering insurance, administering benefits, and paying claims as a ‘payer’ while offering health services such as mental health, pharmacy, and medical services as a ‘provider.’ Integrating both sides of the payer-provider equation enables GreenShield to simplify access to care, remove administrative barriers, and improve health outcomes for its customers.

GreenShield is uniquely structured as a not-for-profit social enterprise that reinvests its earnings and redeploys its services to support underserved Canadian communities via its social impact brand, GreenShield Cares. The company’s overarching goal is to generate $75 million of social impact investments to improve the lives of at least 1 million Canadians by 2025, with a focus on mental health, oral health, and essential medicines. As the industry’s noble challenger GreenShield continues to innovate, evolving its offerings and services to deepen its purpose of championing better health for all. 

GreenShield means, collectively, Green Shield Canada (GSC), Green Shield Association, and Green Shield Holdings Inc., which is the primary company that houses health services and benefits administration businesses, including Inkblot Therapy, Tranquility, BCH Consultants, NKS Health Canada, The Health Depot Pharmacy, Benecaid, and Computer Workware Inc. Green Shield Holdings Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the not-for-profit Green Shield Association.

About the Faculty of Dentistry

Firmly rooted in its community, the mission of Université Laval's Faculty of Dentistry is to train highly qualified, socially responsible oral health professionals who will use their skills to serve the public. The Faculty also contributes to the development of knowledge by combining basic and clinical research, and plays an active role in promoting oral health.