Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Children (4-12 years)
Infants/Young Children (birth - 3 years)
Eagle County Smiles provides dental treatment to children 0-18 that are not insured or are under insured. The program began in 2010 and has served nearly 700 children since we started. We average over 600 dental procedures each year and about 100 children (of whom the majority are seen twice annually, providing a dental home).
Eagle County Smiles is a grant funded program that is in its 8th year of operation. The program is coordinated under the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, and exists to provide oral health services and a dental home to children who lack dental insurance and would otherwise not have the access to the care they needed. The program boasts its success due to the extensive network of community providers involved. We collaborate with 18 local dental providers, the Eagle County Schools (through the health offices and the Early Childhood services), Salvation Army, Mountain Family Health Center, Eagle County Department of Public Health, Eagle County Human Services, and local medical providers.
We measure success by how many children receive dental treatment and develop a dental home. Our goal is to provide treatment for 100% of children in need. We have a 97-99% success rate.
Our other goal is to reduce the number of children with untreated decay and % with cavities. This data is harder to collect and report as that data has only been collected through public health community assessments and those are only conducted every 5 years.
The Vail Valley Charitable Fund strives to provide assistance to individuals in financial and medical crisis in order to: 1) allow families to focus on the business of healing rather than the financial burden of their illness; 2) allow families to stay here in our valley, where the cost of living in combination with a medical crisis could quickly result in the loss of a home; and 3) provide families with the access to the care that they need in order to maintain a high quality of life and remain productive members of our community. Since our inception in 1996, we have distributed $7.5 million to 1,500 families in the Vail Valley.
Through a comprehensive application process, the VVCF awards direct-aid grants to people who are facing a financial crisis due to a medical catastrophe or long-term illness. Applications are reviewed and recipients are determined monthly by the VVCF Board of Directors. These one-time grants may help an individual or family with medical or non-medical necessities. Eligibility criteria include the individual's length of residence in Eagle County, involvement in the community, severity of illness, and attempts made by the individual to both protect him/herself from financial crisis and address his/her financial crisis prior to (or while) contacting the VVCF. In addition to funding, the VVCF frequently helps individuals negotiate provider discounts and payment plans, access necessary medical care and support services in the community, and navigate the complex health care system in our valley.
One of our current applicants, for example, is a local woman named Jan. Janet is married with 2 school-aged children and is battling cancer. She was diagnosed approximately one year ago with breast cancer and underwent surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and reconstruction. Just as she was completing her treatment and returning to work full time (she is self employed as a bookkeeper), Jan was diagnosed with melanoma. She had a growth removed and is now undergoing a different and intense regimen of chemotherapy to prevent further spread of this cancer. Though her husband is also employed and they have health insurance, Janet has lost several of her bookkeeping clients due to her treatment regimen. Consequently, her income is down by two-thirds. Janet's family is struggling to cover their mortgage and utility payments on top of their deductible, maximum out-of-pocket expenses, prescription co-pays, and transportation expenses. Through the Direct Aid Grant Program, the VVCF will assist this family with several months of living expenses while she finishes treatment and returns to work.
The VVCF will allow our grantees to answer this question. These individuals attest to the difference that we make in the lives of locals in crisis.
"To the Vail Valley Charitable Fund,
My family and I would like to express our gratitude for your generous aid in our time of need. We are truly appreciative of your assistance with our financial need when it is needed more than ever. Your altruistic organization deserves the utmost respect and praise for the donation you have gifted us.
Due to incredible challenges our family has endured the past few years, we have encountered a financial struggle. Each and every paycheck holds more value than what is written, making paying bills exponentially more difficult, especially being the only working adult in my family. The payment for my mother-in-law's cancer treatment, in particular, placed a tremendous financial burden on my family and I. My son's knee surgery remained unpaid for years due to the incredible stress that our family had been put under from events prior, but thanks to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, we no longer have to worry about that bill hanging over our heads. The timing of your grant is impeccable and truly appreciated. Our thanks is never ending for your organization and what it stands for. What you have done is more than a monetary value, it is a weight lifted off our family's shoulders.
From my family, we would like to say thank you so much for your generosity and assistance. This couldn't have come at a better time, and we are truly thankful for this blessing. The Vail Valley Charitable Fund will forever have our respect and thanks, and there are not enough words to express how grateful we are. Thank you so much."
~Maria Villanueva and Family, Grant Recipient
"Thank you is not enough.
On February 23rd 2017 this valley came out to support me in my upcoming journey of a lifetime. I was headed to Mexico for a hematopoietic stem cell transplant to rid my body of Multiple Sclerosis. The enthusiasm from people was really incredible. This was all thanks to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund.
VVCF accepted my application for an extended grant to help me raise the funds I would need to have this procedure in Mexico. I had an awesome team of friends who came together to help with a fundraising event but it was the VVCF who really made it all come together.
The guidance of Michelle, Kipp and Lauren was invaluable and I don't think we could have pulled it off without them. The experience and connections they have is unmatched and there would be no way we could have reached so many people without their help.
This valley is truly special and the Vail Valley Charitable Fund makes it even more so. Facing medical decisions and the financial burdens associated can be debilitating. An organization like the VVCF is very unique in that they help people face these challenges with hope and some help financially. Words can't express how indebted I am to the VVCF, thank you for believing in me and giving me the chance of a new lease on life. I am forever grateful.
"My husband Ben and I are so thankful for all the help you have offered us going through the hardest time of our life. Losing our little baby son Ben gave us so much heartache, but with all your love and care it made it a little easier. God has blessed us with a new miracle. We are expecting a little girl in December, her name will be Gracelyn Anne. Thanks for making this possible."
~Michaela and Ben Christie, Grant Recipient
"I have lived in Vail since 1976, met my husband here and our son was born here. We have been a part of this community for a long time, but until my husband died of metastatic prostate cancer in November 2012, I truly didn't realize how much this community and the VVCF care about assisting and supporting Eagle County residents in need. Through The Vail Valley Charitable Fund, a fundraising benefit was held for my son and myself with the support and donations from community minded individuals and businesses. I cannot thank VVCF enough! Please Give from the Heart so that others in need are assisted."
~Cindy and Colby Lefebvre, Grant and Fundraiser Beneficiary
"The Vail Valley Charitable Fund helps people like me find a way to maintain a focus on survival. I rest easier at night because the financial burden of my illness has been lessened. The VVCF also encourages generosity and gratitude, and those are characteristics that form the foundation of caring communities."
~Tiffany Myers, Grant Recipient & Fundraiser Beneficiary