Delta Dental Offers Matching Grant to St. Ann Center Special Needs Dental Clinic

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care has been awarded a $125,000 grant from Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation to support its Gardetto Family Community Dental Clinic. St. Ann Center will receive an additional $50,000 contingent upon finding matching gifts from new donors. The clinic is the only one in Wisconsin designed exclusively to serve people with severe physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

The unique three-chair dental clinic opened in August 2016 at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave. Since then, the facility has provided dental care to 394 people whose disabilities prevent them from being treated in a standard private practice clinic. St. Ann Center, which has drawn national attention for its intergenerational model, provides child and adult day care and other community services at the Bucyrus Campus and its Stein Campus on Milwaukee’s south side.

“The day-to-day operational costs to run a special needs dental clinic are steep, and Medicaid fees we receive do not come close to covering these expenses,” said Dr. Russ Dunkel D.D.S., Dental Clinic Director. “This generous donation from Delta Dental will allow us to provide vastly needed dental care for patients with special needs who previously had nowhere else to go. Some families travel up to five hours to visit our clinic.”

The clinic was especially designed with the special needs of its patients in mind. Halls, doorways and treatment rooms are spacious, allowing for wheelchairs and scooters to maneuver and seating for a parent or other caregiver. An adjustable-height panoramic X-ray machine can be lowered to wheelchair level. One treatment room is designated as a quiet room, away from clinic traffic, for noise-sensitive patients.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services 2010 Burden of Oral Disease in the State of Wisconsin, individuals with disabilities have “significantly higher rates of poor oral hygiene and needs for periodontal disease treatment than the general public.” Many who live with disabilities haven’t visited a dentist in years because their caregivers have been unable to find a provider equipped to treat them or who accept Medicaid.

In order to be seen at the clinic, patients need a referral from a dentist or medical doctor and must be a resident of Wisconsin. The clinic sees patients with conditions including Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and seizure disorders, to name a few. Many use wheelchairs, others are unable to hold their head still or keep their mouth open, some are afraid of the lights, sounds and touch associated with a typical dental visit and require prescription sedation and nitrous oxide.

“Dental services for individuals with special healthcare needs is in critically short supply due to many barriers,” said Ann Boson, executive director of Delta Dental of Wisconsin Foundation. “Our goal with this grant is to strengthen St. Ann Center’s ability to provide comprehensive dental care to one of our state’s most vulnerable populations and help encourage new donors to this partnership.”

St. Ann Center hopes to create a dental home for clients where staff can maintain a rapport and consistent care from early childhood through their elderly years.

If you’re interested in more information about the Gardetto Family Community Dental Clinic, call 414-210-2440. To donate toward the matching grant, contact John Jansen, St. Ann Center’s vice president of grants and community development, at 414-977-5031.

Carolers Spread Cheer Along North Avenue

Churches and businesses on Milwaukee’s north side will start a new old-fashioned tradition on Friday, Dec. 22—Christmas Caroling on North Avenue. The festive event, sponsored by Business Improvement District (BID) 32, is set for 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., beginning at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, 2450 W. North Ave.

Ald. Russell W. Stamper II, BID Chairperson Sharon Adams and Sr. Edna Lonergan, St. Ann Center president, are inviting adults and children from throughout the neighborhood to join in the fun family outing. “In addition to its usual role of helping businesses, BID 32 wants the public to know that our streets are safe and there is plenty of life along the North Avenue business corridor,” said Lonergan, a BID 32 board member. “We’re celebrating the improvements we are making through the voices of children ringing in the joyfulness of the season.”

Carolers will meet at St. Ann Center at 11 a.m. for hot chocolate, cider and cookies. Song sheets and jingle bells will be provided. Singers will leave the center at noon and walk east on North Avenue past Fond du Lac Avenue to 17th Street, stopping to carol at businesses along the way.

“We hope this becomes an annual event that uplifts our neighborhood and continues to grow for many years,” Lonergan said. If you’re interested in joining the carolers, contact John Jansen, Vice President-Grants, Community & Capital Development, at 414-977-5031.

Sr. Edna Lonergan Wins Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Award

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care Founder and President Sr. Edna Longergan is one of five winners of the 2017 Driven To Achieve Award. Green Bay Packers Super Bowl champion and all-time leading receiver Donald Driver will honor this year’s winners for their outstanding community efforts at the Donald Driver Foundation’s Fourth Annual Driven to Achieve Awards presented by BMO Harris Bank. Other winners include Growing Power Founder and CEO Will Allen, Northwestern Mutual Chairman and CEO John E. Schlifske benefitting St. Francis Children’s Center, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee President and CEO Griselda Aldrete and St. Marcus School superintendent Henry Tyson. Each will be presented with an award and a $40,000 donation to their respective organizations at the March 25 event.

“The Donald Driver Foundation is excited to honor such a talented and diverse collection of honorees that are making a difference in our community,” said Donald Driver.

Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Awards presented by BMO Harris Bank was created to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of multiple charities, companies and community leaders on a national and local level. In the program’s first three years, more than $750,000 has been donated to charitable organizations including the MACC Fund, Sharp Literacy, Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Blessings in a Backpack and others.

In addition to BMO Harris Bank, other corporate community leaders supporting the program include MillerCoors and Kwik Trip.

Hosted at Milwaukee’s historic Pfister Hotel March 25, the black-tie awards event will feature multiple, soon-to-be-announced celebrity guests and musical acts. Past guests have included seven-time Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight, “Black-ish” Producer and Lead Actor Anthony Anderson, then-“Good Morning America” host Josh Elliott, Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian Sherri Shepherd, and recording artist Gavin DeGraw.

$5 Million Capital Grant Received to Complete Bucyrus Campus

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care is very pleased to be included in the Governor’s proposed biennial budget as a non-state agency grant recipient. The funds will be used exclusively to fund construction costs to complete Phase 2 of its Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Avenue in Milwaukee.

The center opened in September 2015 after raising about $19 million of the $26 million needed to complete the project. The State allocation will allow the center to open 100% of its program units and fully serve the community.

“We are so appreciative to the State for helping us finish construction of the Bucyrus Campus,” said President/CEO Sr. Edna Lonergan, OSF. “This will allow us to finish building the Alzheimer’s/dementia unit, which is so critically needed in this area of town. We will build the gym, finish our classrooms, build a handicapped-accessible Aquatic Center to teach adults with disabilities and neighborhood children to swim, and construct a Community Band Shell and lighted walkway, which will be a focal point for neighborhood gatherings.

“Chronic medical conditions put enormous strain on families. Our efforts can now be focused on providing affordable services so we can continue our mission of serving everyone regardless of their ability to pay.”

St. Ann Center, which has drawn national attention for its intergenerational model, provides early childhood education, recreational opportunities and adult day services all under one roof. In only 15 months, the Bucyrus Campus has grown to serve 130 children and 130 adults. Upon completion, Head Start and Early Head Start programs will serve 230 children per day. And more than 350 adult clients—including the frail elderly and adults with physical and developmental disabilities – will make use of day services that include aquatics, art, music, and other forms of therapy.

The center’s programs are open to the entire community, and address the needs of underserved residents on Milwaukee’s north side. The center features a full service medical clinic and a dental clinic – one of only three dental clinics in the state of Wisconsin equipped to serve persons with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.

Lonergan emphasized that St. Ann Center’s mission includes serving the entire community, from early childhood education and health care to economic development. In the past year, the center has organized two business incubators for local residents trying to start or expand a business. St. Ann Center is also partnering with businesses and community groups to revitalize the North Avenue corridor and surrounding neighborhood.

“We are committed to building this community from within — not gentrification.”– Sr. Edna Lonergan

The Bucyrus Campus has already created 70 permanent jobs, with over 90% of them filled by residents who live in the surrounding neighborhood. That number is expected to rise to 200 jobs over the next two years. St. Ann Center Board member Tim Sullivan, who led the facility’s capital campaign, characterized the Bucyrus Campus as “the most exciting, transformational, community project in the city – ever.”

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care opened as St. Ann Adult Day Care in 1983, and has been expanding its services ever since. It has resulted in fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits and lower health care costs. The programs enable people to remain with families and other caregivers. Intergenerational care is a joyful atmosphere that helps adults to live longer, more meaningful lives and teaches children to appreciate and learn from older adults and persons with disabilities.

Media Coverage of our $5 Million Capital Grant

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Business Journal
Our Press Release on the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Our Press Release on Urban Milwaukee

Better Together Fund helps build Clinic!

St. Ann Center is honored to be a recipient of a 2016 Aurora Health Care Better Together Fund grant. This $250,000 grant has been used to complete the medical clinic at our Bucyrus Campus, allowing us to bring accessible medical care and health education to Milwaukee’s long underserved North Side community.

The Aurora Health Care Better Together Fund is a contribution made to help community-based providers expand primary care and behavioral health services, as well as sexual assault and domestic violence prevention and treatment programs. Learn more at

Check out this video sharing the impact of this gift

Visit our clinic page to read all about the Bucyrus Campus medical clinic’s services.