School-based Oral Health Expansion Program

Request for Applications 

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is working alongside The Duke Endowment and the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation on a School-based Oral Health Expansion Program. This multi-year initiative will help health departments, safety-net providers and nonprofit organizations expand dental services into rural and under-resourced schools to ensure that all children receive dental care.

The goals of this initiative are to:

  • Improve access to preventative and restorative dental care for school-aged children
  • Improve meaningful oral health outcomes for school-aged children
  • Proliferate school-based programs that have viable business plans that lead to sustainability

Initiative Design

This initiative has two distinct phases and applications: a six-month Readiness and Planning Phase followed by a two-year Implementation Phase. Each year, 10 programs will be selected to participate in the Readiness and Planning Phase. Grantees will receive $65,000 and access to a technical assistance team to assist them in developing care delivery and business plans for school-based, prevention-oriented programs that are financially viable. Grantees will receive on-site coaching and technical assistance delivered through web-based learning communities. At the end of six months, Readiness grantees will be invited to apply for two-year Implementation funds. Implementation grantees will receive two years of direct funding and will receive ongoing technical assistance and participate in a two-state learning collaborative.


Organizations considered for funding must be non-profit organizations committed to developing clinical and business models that prioritize prevention services (cleanings, sealants, and fluoride) in school settings while ensuring a process to address restorative treatment needs. Only applicants with existing dental care services will be considered for funding. Applicants include but are not limited to:

  • Federally Qualified Health Centers that currently provide dental services
  • Health departments that currently provide dental services
  • Dental schools or hygiene programs
  • Existing school-based oral health programs that would like to expand their scope of services
  • Nonprofit dental delivery organizations that would like to expand their scope of services

Benefits of Participation 

Selected grantees will work directly with a technical assistance and evaluation team, which includes the Medical University of South Carolina’s Division of Population Oral Health (DPOH) and East Carolina University’s School of Dental Medicine (ECU).

Key activities will include:

  • Business planning
  • Dental care delivery planning
  • Referral management planning
  • Data collection and reporting
  • School and community engagement
  • Education planning and family engagement

Expectations of Participation 

Grantees will be expected to:

  • Convene a 2-3-person leadership team and attend the grantee kick-off meeting on March 4, 2022
  • Develop an organizational team comprised of at least three individuals with at least one representative from the executive level and one from dental program leadership engaged in the grant process
  • With technical assistance (TA) from the DPOH and ECU, complete a clinical care plan and a business plan
  • Complete the monthly Learning Modules
  • Participate in coaching sessions with assigned TA coaches

Grantees are encouraged to:

  • Participate in a pre-application site visit and shadowing of an existing school-based oral health program

Please contact Amah Riley in South Carolina at or Anna Pollard in North Carolina at if you would like assistance in making a connection with an existing program

Application Submission Instructions

A mandatory webinar will be held on November 18 at noon EST.
Potential applicants must participate in the webinar or view the recording that will be available upon request by emailing Julie Hale at by Wednesday, November 24, 2021.

Webinar Instructions

November 18, 2021, Webinar Information:

  • Participants will need to register for the webinar by Monday, November 15, 2021, by emailing Amah Riley at
  • In your registration request, please include:
    - the name of the organization
    - the address of the organization
    - all participant names
    - all titles
    - all email addresses
  • Once registration information is received, each participant will be sent a meeting link through the email provided

Following the webinar, eligible organizations may complete The Duke Endowment’s Readiness Application.

Applications are due by December 10, 2021.

Any technical questions about the application or submission process should be directed to Julie Hale at or 704.969.2107. Questions about the program should be directed to Stacy Warren at or 704.927.2254.

To Apply

The application link will be provided during the webinar. The application link will be active from November 18 through December 10.


November 18, 2021
Mandatory informational webinar to delineate the grant process and answer questions about the initiative and RFA

December 10, 2021
Electronic applications due to The Duke Endowment

January 10-28, 2022
Readiness Application site visits

February 15, 2022
Award notification

March 3, 2022
Tentative grantee dinner, Charlotte, North Carolina (optional)

March 4, 2022
Mandatory kick-off session (logistics to follow)

March – August 2022
Readiness and Planning

September 2022
Grantees may apply for a two-year Implementation grant

November 2022
Implementation grants awarded

January 2023
School-Based services begin