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Pacific Center for Special Care Receives $1.2 Million in Grant Funding from First 5 Associations

Aug 13, 2012

The Pacific Center for Special Care at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has received a total of $1.2 million in grant funding from the Los Angeles First 5 and San Mateo First 5 commissions to expand the Virtual Dental Home demonstration project. The grant funding will bring oral healthcare via the Virtual Dental Home demonstration project to children in state Head Start centers and health clinics based in Los Angeles and San Mateo counties.

First 5 is a program dedicated to improving the lives of California's young children and families through a network of education, health services, childcare and other nonprofit partners. There is a First 5 program established in all of California's 58 counties, and each program is run individually based on each county's specific priorities. By providing grant funding to Pacific, the First 5 commissions of Los Angeles and San Mateo are taking dedicated steps toward improving the oral health of children residing in those counties.

"Grant funding from these First 5 Commissions shows recognition of importance of oral health and the potential for the Virtual Dental Home model to reach into Head Start centers and improve the oral health of low income and disadvantage students," said Dr. Paul Glassman, professor of dental practice and director of the Pacific Center for Special Care.

Pacific's partners for these projects will be the Ravenswood Family Heath Center in San Mateo and the Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles. Pacific Center for Special Care Program Managers Maureen Harrington and Maysa Namakian, with the assistance of other Pacific Center staff and faculty, will be responsible for training and working with the staff of the health centers and Head Start centers. 

The Virtual Dental Home creates a community-based oral health delivery system in which people can receive preventive and simple therapeutic oral health services in community settings, such as where they live or receive educational, social or general health services.  It utilizes the latest technology to link practitioners in the community with dentists at remote office sites. 

For Additional information about the Virtual Dental Home:

Virtual Dental Home Demonstration Project

Demonstrating a New Model for Dental Care web feature

Special issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association on Virtual Dental Home

Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry press release on First 5 Grant