Patterson awards $54K to Minn. organization

The Patterson Foundation has awarded a $53,795 grant to Operation Grace MN, which brings mobile dental clinics to low-income communities in Minnesota.

The grant will support the dental professional volunteers who staff the clinics and provide care to schools, homeless shelters, and other in-need locations, Patterson said.

Operation Grace MN's volunteers provide oral hygiene, preventive education, and basic treatment through approximately 16 clinics a month. The organization primarily serves the Twin Cities, but it recently expanded to Duluth, MN, and aims to serve more than 1,500 patients in 2015.

"There is a serious need for access to dental care in our communities," Gary Johnson, president of the Patterson Foundation, said in a press release. "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."

The Patterson Foundation's grant comes after Operation Grace MN lost support from two organizations that had been providing care.

John Braddoc, executive director of Operation Grace MN, credits the grant for helping the clinic to continue its service mission.

"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," he said.

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