Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Aspen Dental offers free care to underserved communities

Its successful Healthy Mouth Movement brings a smile with the largest community-giving initiative in company history.

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More than 47 million Americans live in communities where there is little or no access to dental care. 

Aspen Dental is not OK with that. 

One of the largest and fastest-growing networks of independent dental care providers in the United States, Aspen has more than 460 practices across 28 states and found itself well-positioned to give back. The company launched the Healthy Mouth Movement, involving nearly 2,000 Aspen doctors, hygienists, and office support staff in 211 Aspen practices across 27 states. 

Over a nine-month period, these volunteers came together on different Saturdays for a “day of service” that together provided more than $1 million in free dental care to 2,901 patients in need. Additionally, the Aspen Dental MouthMobile, a fully equipped dental office on wheels, traveled to 17 communities, teaming up with local charities to provide free service to patients.

Ensuring the movement’s success meant maintaining sharp and consistent internal communications to keep up interest during the initiative. Aspen’s communications team conducted a multimedia internal communications campaign that included video, photography, intranet, social media, and print publications, even utilizing NASCAR star Danica Patrick as the movement’s spokesperson. Recaps from all MouthMobile events were posted on the company intranet and in weekly emails, featuring photos and quotes that underscored the value of the movement and the pride felt by those who participated. 

At the end of the campaign, keepsake booklets were mailed to all participating offices and field teams to thank and recognize team members, and a congratulatory video was produced and shown at Aspen’s annual meeting. The company reports an incredible boost in morale, engagement, and pride generated by the Healthy Mouth Movement—its internal videos and intranet postings had more than 30,000 views over the course of the campaign. 

Aspen Dental cleans up with Ragan’s 2014 Employee Communications Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program. Congratulations to contributing communications staff members Mark Frank, senior manager; Kasey Pickett, director; Amy Cornue, manager; Anna Dupre, graphic design specialist; and Autumn Wallingford, graphic designer. 
 

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