LANSING, MI – The Delta Dental Foundation has awarded Sparrow a $400,000 grant to allow a two-year renewal and expansion of a first-in-the-nation research project that pinpoints how good oral healthcare can improve overall health. The announcement continues the project first funded by the Delta Dental Foundation in 2015 that provided all Sparrow Hospital Patients with a higher-quality toothbrush, toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate, alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash, and a suction toothbrush kit for those with difficulty swallowing or spitting. That project, funded with a $175,000 grant, helped spur a marked decrease in hospital-acquired pneumonia cases. With the new grant, the research project will be expanded throughout Sparrow Health System, meaning all Patients will receive the oral healthcare kits. The funding was announced Tuesday by officials with the Delta Dental Foundation, the Sparrow Foundation (which accepted the grant), and Sparrow Health System. “The Delta Dental Foundation is committed to increasing awareness of the connection between good oral health and overall health,” said Terri Battaglieri, Director of the Delta Dental Foundation. “This project exemplifies that commitment and is a great example of the impact we can have when we work together with health partners such as the Sparrow Foundation. “Educating Patients about the critical importance of oral healthcare while in the hospital setting is a great win, and we are thrilled to commit an additional $400,000 to support the continuation of this very worthy project.” Said Karen Kent VanGorder, M.D., Sparrow’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical and Quality Officer: “When you live in a community and you or your loved one is sick, it’s so important to be able to have nationally recognized care like we have at Sparrow. I’m overwhelmed that we have this type of donation from the Delta Dental Foundation.” The oral health project grew out of an initiative led by Sparrow Clinical Nurse leaders, reflecting Sparrow’s dedication to research and innovation to transform Patient care. “With the support of the Sparrow and Delta Dental foundations, our Caregivers truly are making a difference in Patients’ lives by providing evidence-based care with quality products that reduce the risk of developing pneumonia while in the hospital,” said Chastity Warren, DNP, MSN/Ed, RN, CCRN, a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Sparrow Hospital. Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.