A grand opening was held Thursday for the Palmdale Children’s Dental Health Center and Mobile Dental Clinic at 2151 E. Palmdale Blvd. The Antelope Valley Community Clinic’s new center and mobile clinic will expand the area’s dental capacity to some 4,500 children per year.
“We found that there was an extreme need for dental care for children, especially in the outlying areas of the Antelope Valley,” said AVCC Medical Director Robert Rojas. “We’re providing free dental care for any children who need it, regardless of their ability to pay.”
Unbeknownst to most people, dental disease is the number one childhood disease, Rojas added.
“The emphasis here in this clinic is going to be education for pregnant woman, because there’s a lot of things they can do to prevent their children, from infancy, from ever becoming prone to cavities,” he said.
Speakers at the grand opening/ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday included Senior Deputy to Supervisor Michael Antonovich, Norm Hickling; Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford, Jr.; Assemblyman Steve Knight; AVCC Board Chairman George Gecy; AVCC Medical Director Dr. Karunya Arulanantham; First 5LA Director of Public Affairs Francisco Oaxaca; and L.A. Care Health Plan Chief of Strategy, Regulatory & External Affairs Jonathan Freedman.
“This clinic really represents a chance for young people to get a good start in life,” Ledford said.
The clinic will provide preventative, diagnostic and restorative care for children up to age 18. The clinic will also provide specialized individual and group educational services for children and their families to improve oral health and nutrition.
“We are well positioned to significantly increase access to oral health services throughout this underserved community given our strong relationship with all of the local school districts,” said James A. Cook, CEO of Antelope Valley Community Clinic. “We will also provide training for providers on assessing oral health and providing preventative services in children.”
The new Children’s Dental Health Center was funded through a grant from First 5 LA.
“Improving Children’s Dental Health in L.A. County has been a major priority for First 5 LA and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to be a funder for the expansion of the Clinic’s work,” said Francisco Oaxaca, director of public affairs for First 5 LA.
The new center and mobile clinic was also funded with a grant from L.A. Care Health Plan.
“We are so grateful for community health care systems like the Antelope Valley Community Clinic that deliver quality care to the underserved in our community,” said Jonathan Freedman, Chief of Strategy, Regulatory and External Affairs, L.A. Care. “It is our privilege to provide funding to further extend the reach of these vital programs.”
AVCC provides comprehensive health care services, including prevention and education, with special emphasis on the medically underserved and low-income populations. AVCC was incorporated in 2007 and opened its first clinic in 2008. In four years, AVCC has grown to three walk-in clinics, two Mobile Clinics and 140 employees who will provide care for over 70,000 patients this year.
For more information on the Palmdale Children’s Dental Health Center and Mobile Dental Clinic, contact 661-942-2391 or visit avclinic.org.