Moreover, according to a February 2013 report commissioned by the CHF and completed by La Piana Consulting and Harder+Company Community Research, the capacity of existing safety net efforts to provide oral health care to children reaches only a fraction of those who need it – and adults have even less access to dental care, especially since 2009, when California reduced its adult Denti-Cal benefits. This is particularly problematic for frail seniors, disabled adults, and adults with chronic disease who experience unique barriers to care and who have a compounded risk of poor oral health and related health issues.
To help address this problem, in 2011 and 2012, the John Muir/Mt. Diablo Community Health Fund (CHF) provided $1,111,174 in three grants to La Clínica de La Raza, so it could pilot off-site, high quality oral health care and oral health education that built on existing dental services at La Clínica’s busy Monument and Pittsburg dental clinics.
The grants supported:
- Planning that included establishing strong, formal partnerships with locations where La Clínica would practice
- The purchase of necessary equipment
- A needs assessment for seniors, as well as direct delivery of dental care and health education for those seniors whom the assessment found needed it
- Direct delivery of an array of dental services and health education to sites in central and east Contra Costa that serve pregnant mothers, children ages 3 to 5, and school-age children from kindergarten through fifth grade