San Ysidro Health Center and Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children to Hold Joint Press Briefing on Improving Children’s Access to Oral Healthcare

Leading Oral Health Care Foundation Recognizes San Ysidro Health Center as One of 10 National Organizations Providing Dental Care Access to Children in Need

San Ysidro, CA
May 9, 2012

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC): The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), and San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC) will hold a joint press briefing on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. to address the state of pediatric dentistry in San Diego and the nation. The press briefing will take place at San Diego Children’s Dental Clinic: 8110 Birmingham Way, Building 28, on the Rady Children’s Hospital campus.

The event will include HSHC’s recognition of SYHC’s San Diego Children’s Dental Clinic as one of 10 Access to Care Grants recipients in the nation. The clinic will receive $20,000 in support of its efforts to provide oral health care access to underserved, at-risk children.

The press briefing will also commemorate the City of San Diego Community Development Block Grant award of $1,459,180 to San Ysidro Health Center for expansion of its San Diego Children’s Dental Clinic. The Children’s Dental Clinic provides comprehensive oral health services to low income children living throughout San Diego County, including all council districts within the City of San Diego. The clinic’s services are housed within Rady Children’s Hospital and is the only hospital-based pediatric dental clinic in San Diego County where medically fragile and special needs children can access comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health services, including orthodontics and sedation dentistry.

“We are pleased to recognize San Ysidro Health Center as an Access to Care grantee, especially considering its distinguished history of advocating for underserved and disadvantaged children in need of oral health care,” said Dr. David K. Curtis, President of HSHC. “Good oral health improves children’s overall health and quality of life, and that access to oral health care and education is important for everyone. We are dedicated to being an advocate for comprehensive quality oral health care for all children.”

According to Curtis, the HSHC Board of Trustees decided to increase the number of grants awarded this year after receiving more than 300 submissions — the most proposals from any grant cycle to-date for the third-year pilot initiative. Grant funding may be applied to cover costs of clinic supplies and instruments, patient/ parent education materials, take-home supplies (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.), education and/or outreach to recruit dentist participation in program activities, or other activity with clear, direct impact on child oral care.

Ed Martinez, President and CEO of SYHC noted that the U.S. Surgeon General’s report of 2000 identified dental decay as the most common untreated chronic childhood illness in America. Poor oral health poses a serious threat to the overall health and development of millions of young children, but receives far less attention than more widely-publicized concerns such as obesity, diabetes and asthma.

“SYHC has a deep commitment to the San Diego community to increase access to and awareness of pediatric dental health,” said Martinez. “We’re honored to stand side-by-side with the Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children organization to express our appreciation of support and jointly discuss the importance of pediatric dental health to the overall health of our community.”

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