LOS ANGELES – L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest public health plan, announced today that the Board of Governors approved $210,000 in funding to support the South Bay Children’s Health Center’s (SBCHC) dental program in its new dental clinic in Lawndale. This start-up dental clinic will add four new dental operating rooms and provide 30 hours per week of pediatric dental services including cleanings, fluoride varnishing, fillings, and extractions for low-income and uninsured patients up to the age of 24. SBCHC’s new dental clinic will open its doors on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.
“L.A. Care is committed to supporting access to dental care for low-income and uninsured families,” says Dr. Elaine Batchlor, Chief Medical Officer at L.A. Care Health Plan
. “There are three times as many Californians without dental insurance as there are medically uninsured. Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, affecting 60% of all children.”
With the two-year grant SBCHC
has purchased Dentrix, an electronic dental health records system, designed to connect dental offices and transfer patient information more efficiently. SBHC
has renovated the clinic’s new space, establish a professional volunteer program and expand its rotation program for hygiene and dental students with the partnership and support of the Western Los Angeles Dental Society and local area universities.
The new dental clinic is strategically located in the city of Lawndale, where 17% of the residents have an income below the poverty level compared to the rest of the state (14%). Through school dental screenings conducted last year, SBCHC
found that 1,163 children needed immediate dental care, but the clinic was only able to treat approximately 65%.
will serve patients ages 2 through 24 years old with dental needs, regardless of insurance, based on a sliding scale depending upon income. No child will be denied treatment,” says Christina Harris, SBCHC Executive Director
. “The new dental clinic has long range plans to serve patients over the age of 24.”
Since 2003, L.A. Care has granted nearly $8 million to provide more than 300,000 oral health services including oral health education, prevention and treatment services for low-income communities.
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