Grant Project Title
Apple Tree Dental Research Collaborative Project
Grantee Address

Apple Tree Dental
2442 Mounds View Blvd
Mounds View, MN
United States

Apple Tree Dental is a 35-year old federally qualified health center with the mission to overcome barriers to oral health through delivering education, prevention, and restorative dental services to vulnerable populations by providing leadership and innovation to transform the health care system.

While we have not formally engaged in work with Apple Tree Dental before, they are well known for their unique capacity to collect and share data to drive policy change and care transformation. When founded in 1985, Apple Tree Dental began implementing dental diagnostic codes and dental procedure codes, as well as recording medical diagnoses and prescriptions. As a result, they have amassed 35 years’ worth of patient data that is frequently utilized for both clinical and policy advancements, most notably as it pertains to Medicaid benefits, workforce, and improvements geriatric and specialty care dentistry.

As well, Apple Tree Dental uses inclusive approaches to reach low-income, under-and uninsured populations, and new immigrants. Through their Community Collaborative Practice model they work with community-based organizations to use culturally competent lens. Their patients include high-need, medically complex populations, including many who are not represented in commonly available datasets (commercial insurers claims data). The settings in which data are collected employ a diverse workforce and deliver care in unique ways (teledentistry, mobile programs).

This proposal is through the Emergent and Relief Fund and will support Apple Tree Dental in modernizing their data communication systems by designing and embedding research authorization protocols at all eight of their Centers which will make identifiable data have better portability for research collaborators and make it easier to link with Medicaid claims databases. They will also create multi-media modular resources that better support external partners in navigating the unique aspects of the data prior to initiating a project ask. Lastly, they will formalize a framework and protocols for research collaborations, which will help to optimize partnership by clarifying responsibilities and expectations for inputs and outcomes.
The budget for this proposal is $25,000. $16000 of that goes to staff time and the remainder going to technological enhancements and stipends for piloting the new framework.

The total organizational budget for the Apple Tree Dental is $22M, which makes this grant less than 1% of the overall budget.

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