SGVDS-Summer NL '08-A - San Gabriel Valley Dental Society

SGVDS-Summer NL '08-A - San Gabriel Valley Dental Society

ADA National Campaign

As you may know, the concept of the American Dental Association

(ADA’s) National Campaign is to raise public awareness of what

the U.S. Surgeon General has termed a “silent epidemic” of dental

disease and to encourage parents, politicians and people who care

about children to address this issue in their communities. The

seriousness surrounding oral health is finally being realized; i.e.,

quoted from the LA Times Health Section/April 2007 Issue—

“Heart disease, diabetes, stokes and other conditions may be linked

to oral health. Physicians and insurers are taking notice.”

The concept for this program first started in February of 2002 by a

group of dentists as a two day awareness event. Thanks to the

ADA, this campaign has now become a nationwide umbrella for

all of the states to come under one name. In just five years, Give

Kids A Smile ® became the ADA’s signature charitable event,

involving nearly 10% of the ADA’s members and touching close

to one million underserved children.

Dental Associations and Societies within the nation are encouraged

by the ADA each year to come up with their own goals, ideas and

strategies to support this ongoing program.

In 2003, our Society members conducted dental oral health

assessments of children most needing urgent dental care at

several schools within San Gabriel Valley. Over 100 children

were offered the opportunity to receive free dental treatment

from volunteer members. However, only 15 children were

able to get to the dentist’s offices for treatment.

In 2004, 40 members of our Society gathered together on the 2 nd

Saturday in February at two centers stationed in Pasadena and

in La Puente. Less than 100 children visited both locations to

receive free dental assessments, oral health care education and

free product.

In 2005, the decision was made by our Community Health

Committee and our five Area Zone Directors to “go to the

children” rather than have the children come to us! Beginning

on a small scale with this new approach, 550 children received

assessments from 37 member volunteers that year.

In 2006, volunteers from the SGVDS, the Chinese American Dental

Association and the SGV Foundation for Dental Health joined

forces. After evaluating the needs of 250 public schools within

San Gabriel Valley, 41 volunteers screened, educated and

provided referral information and goodie bags to 3,000 first

grade children from low-income families, representing 43

schools in the community. Our Society’s vision was

established at this point: To expand on the organizational

strategies set forth by this year’s team of area directors,

duplicating each volunteer to form numerous “teams” in

order to reach all the first graders in our community that

come from low-income families.

In 2007, with the help of 66 volunteers, we screened 6,571 children

from 69 schools within the San Gabriel Valley.

A dental assisting

student from the

Citrus College

Dental Assisting

School showing

children how to


Photo taken at Orangewood Elementary School, West

Covina. Left Front: Dr. Mike Tanaka, Dr. Saeda Basta, Maria

Matza RN. (West Covina School District), Jan Anderson

(Kiwanis), Carol Scanlan (Kiwanis). Left Back: Dr. David

Alfaro, Lea Steuve (West Covina School District), Harry

Anderson (Kiwanis)




Dr. Patricia

Donnelly is doing

the examination.

Her chairside

assistant is the


Continued on page 12


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