FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2016
Contact: Lina Park
Asian Health Services Receives $1 Million to Build New Dental Clinic in Oakland
Award to expand oral healthcare services to the medically underserved community
June 1, 2016 – OAKLAND, Calif. – Asian Health Services (AHS) was awarded $1 million, through the Health Infrastructure Investment Program (HIIP) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to build the first community dental clinic in California to integrate behavioral screening as well as provide four specialties, including endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery and pediatric dentistry. The new clinic, will be located on 11th and Jackson Street, and will serve low-income residents of Alameda County.
“The advent of health care reform has brought a deluge of patients to our clinics. Now, we have more than 2,000 patients on a 12-month waiting list,” said Dr. Huong Le, Chief Dental Officer at AHS. “This new state-of-the-art clinic will help us see patients who have been waiting and are in great need of oral health care.”
The new dental clinic will provide oral and behavioral services to underserved patients with an emphasis on families and individuals who face socioeconomic, language and cultural barriers to accessing dental care. The majority of AHS’ patients are low-income with 95% earning less than 200% of Federal Poverty Level or $48,500 as a family of four.
Located on the first floor of 71 new affordable housing units, the new 4,000-square-foot dental clinic will house seven dental operatories, two pediatric suites and one counseling room.
“Oral health disproportionately affects communities of color due to language and financial barriers, and lack of access to dental care,” said Dr. Winston Wong, Kaiser Permanente’s Medical Director, Community Benefit. “Oral health is a key component in ensuring optimal health for all members of our community.”
According to a recent California Pan-Ethnic Health Network brief, oral health issues not only affect one’s ability to eat, nutrition intake and low weight in children, but they have also been linked to chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart and lung disease, and poor birth outcomes. In addition, low-income households are less likely to seek care due to barriers that include cost, language and accessibility. A significant number of AHS’ patients are immigrants who have never received dental care in their country of origin.
“Presently we have few dentists in Alameda County who accept Denti-Cal or pediatric patients three years and younger. This award comes at a pivotal moment as we embark on a capital campaign to build a much-needed dental clinic for our community. The new clinic will allow us to nearly double our capacity to provide comprehensive oral health care to more families – from pediatric to geriatric patients,” said Sherry Hirota, CEO of AHS. “The dental clinic expansion contributes to our mission to provide affordable and culturally competent dental care for our community.”
The grant awarded through HIIP contributes toward the $3 million needed to build and equip the dental clinic. AHS will hold its annual gala on September 10, 2016 at Oakland Marriott City Center to benefit the new state-of-the-art dental clinic. To attend or obtain further information, please contact Julia Liou, Director of Program & Development, at email@example.com.
About Asian Health Services
Asian Health Services, founded in 1974, is a community health center that provides primary, dental and behavioral health services to underserved families of Oakland and surrounding communities in English and 12 different Asian languages (Cantonese, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Mien, Lao, Mongolian, Karen, Karenni, and Burmese). We currently serve more than 27,000 patients with medical, dental and behavioral providers, patient navigators, on-site interpreters, health coaches, perinatal counseling and labor coaches. We also advocate and empower our patients and our community through advocacy, education and community programs. As a nationally recognized community health center model, AHS stands at the forefront of quality and innovation. For more information, go to: www.asianhealthservices.org