The “Driving” Force of Dentistry

TIMOTHY WHITFIELD and IAN TANG
EL NUEVO SOL—SALUD

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The colorful and cheerful Ostrow dental van, parked and ready to service the public.

Both Irene Reyna and Meyerer Miller smile intently after their interview of mobile dentistry
Photo by Timothy Whitfield

Southern California’s remote or under-served areas tend to be areas without dental services available.  This leaves many people to go without getting any dental care or attention.  The Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC has been providing care for these areas since 1968.  USC’s program now features many vans that include everything from sterilization to portable dental equipment.  The idea behind the Mobile Dental program was to originally serve the entire population that had difficulty receiving care, but now the program has taken a different approach and targets children.  The program first started serving migrant farm workers in between Bakersfield and the border, but now also serves low-income children as well. The school attacks the issue with their QueensCare Mobile Dental Program and Neighborhood Mobile Dental Clinic.  The QueensCare van has taught over 5,000 children in the Los Angeles area proper techniques for oral health care.  The Neighborhood dental van has provided quality care for over 15 elementary schools 10,000 kids.  Van visits to schools are invaluable because they offer professional care for no cost to these children.  The mobile vans that visit Los Angeles’s schools are meant to treat and increase awareness for children from kindergarten to fifth grade.  Before every child receives the free goodie bag they must learn what foods to stay away from while understanding how to brush and floss properly.  The service is available for visits and claims to be cheaper than other practices.  The students will operate on patients under the supervision of their teachers so both the students and the patients receive quality care.  Meyerer Miller and Irene Reyna are two people that spend their time every week to help sponsor events and coordinate oral health fares for the children of Los Angeles.  Having the opportunity to speak with them about the subject helps gain an understanding and respect not found online or in a packet.  Irene and Meyerer explain that the dental “vans” are not really vans. There is a smaller van named after these programs’ founder, Charlie, but most “vans” are large trailers containing a dental office with multiple dental workstations.

Among the three different mobile clinics programs, all of them have different sources that financially sustain the programs. Irene explains that the Mobile Dental Clinic is funded by several private organizations. QueensCare foundation steps in to fund the QueensCare Mobile Dental Clinic. Lastly, the Neighborhood Mobile Dental Van’s funds come from a Good Neighbor Campaign that collects donation from school faculty. Within the UCS’s introductory packet, Meyerer provides a detailed chart containing a synopsis of the amount of people serviced within the last decade. The packet also contained the “At a Glance” paperwork that summarizes a handful of the community health programs by which USC is affiliated.

Publicado el noviembre 29, 2012 en Audio, Medicina social, Podcast, Recursos para la comunidad / Resources, Salud / Health, Salud Dental y etiquetado en , , , , , , , , , , , . Guarda el enlace permanente. Deja un comentario.

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