Blue Cross Blue Shield Caring Foundation works with Spectra Health to provide dental care to students

Oral health is a huge part of well-being. For children, untreated tooth decay can affect the way they eat, speak, play and learn. 

That’s why Spectra Health visits eleven schools near Grand Forks, North Dakota, to bring dental care to kids who may not be able to afford it.

Going where the kids are

School social worker Pamela Elmquist says, “I think it’s very important to have the program at the school because it breaks down so many barriers that our families struggle with.” Pamela works with a Title-I school, and some of the families have difficulty accessing care due to transportation or language barriers.

Partnering with BCBSND Caring Foundation

Spectra Health offers dental cleanings, fluoride varnishes, oral health assessments and sealants to students. To provide these services, they work with support from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Caring Foundation.

Spectra Health CEO Mara Jiran says, “Through partnership with the Caring Foundation, we have been able to dramatically improve the way we serve our schools.”


Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, Spectra Health helped 610 students in preschool all the way up to fifth grade.