Foundations team up to fight Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia

Published: Oct. 21, 2015

Two prominent foundations have teamed up to fund and launch a new program to improve oral hygiene and reduce cases of hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) at Sparrow Hospital.

On Wednesday, the Delta Dental Foundation presented the Sparrow Foundation with a $175,000 grant. The grant will help Sparrow Hospital Nurses, infection control staffers and other health care professionals create and launch the Oral Care Project this week at Sparrow Hospital.

Through the project, all Patients admitted into the hospital will receive an improved set of oral health care supplies to use during their stay, including a higher-quality soft-bristle toothbrush, toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate, alcohol-free antiseptic mouthwash and a suction toothbrush kit for Patients with difficulty swallowing or spitting.

“Thanks to the generosity of the Delta Dental Foundation, we at Sparrow Hospital are able to launch an evidence-based best practice project that will reduce hospital stays, reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction by reducing cases of hospital-acquired pneumonia,” said Mary Lou Wesley, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Sparrow Hospital.

“Delta Dental is committed to improving the oral health in the communities we serve,” said Delta Dental Foundation Director Teri Battaglieri. “We are proud to partner with Sparrow on this oral health project which has the potential to prevent serious infection and improve Patient outcomes.”

HAP is the second most common infection that originates in a hospital, and it is associated with increased lengths of stay, increased costs for care—on average $20,000+ per episode—and poorer Patient outcomes.

Under the project, Patients and their families will also receive materials designed to educate them about the overall health benefits of good oral hygiene as Sparrow’s medical teams have been empowered to educate Patients and their families about oral health.

The Delta Dental Foundation covered a significant portion of Sparrow’s first-year costs of assembling the oral hygiene kits. About 50,000 pre-packaged kits will be distributed to Patients upon admittance.

About the Sparrow Foundation

For more than fifty years, the Sparrow Foundation has served as the charitable home of Sparrow. Gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations have been invested into programs, facilities and technology that support the exceptional care provided to every individual, regardless of an ability to pay. Contributions to the Sparrow Foundation are making a difference in the lives of our Patients, their families, and our region, each and every day. To get involved, visit today.

About the Delta Dental Foundation

The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. The Foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit