USC faculty, dental students provide free dental care to low-income South Los Angeles students through unique partnership for the second year in a row
BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR MCM ’16
On Saturday, Oct. 19, the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC held its second annual mobile dental clinic at John Muir Middle School in South Los Angeles.
During the week-long mobile clinic, more than 150 children will receive critically-needed dental services for free to improve health outcomes, reduce absenteeism in schools and improve their quality of life.
The mobile clinic is made possible through a partnership between Ostrow, the California Resources Corporation (CRC), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA).
“California Resources Corporation is very proud to partner with USC, LAUSD and UTLA to provide crucial dental services for kids and families in need that will help improve their quality of life in South Los Angeles,” said Todd Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer of CRC.
“With CRC’s entire workforce and operations here in California, we are committed to promoting a vibrant, inclusive future for all Californians,” he added. “By addressing the dental health needs of local students in our community, we hope to energize our future leaders of Los Angeles to continue to learn and thrive.”
The dental clinic also provides Ostrow students with valuable clinical experience.
According to the initial screenings, 62 percent of patients at the school had 1-2 cavities in their mouth, while another 16 percent of patients had multiples severe cavities with poor oral hygiene. During last year’s mobile dental clinic partnership, Ostrow faculty and students treated 74 students, providing restorations on 200 cavitated teeth and applying 445 sealants.
“We look forward to building on this success from the first year of our partnership with California Resources Corporation, Los Angeles Unified School District and United Teachers Los Angeles to once again provide much-needed dental treatment to underserved students and their families at John Muir Middle School,” Dean Avishai Sadan said.
“No child should ever have to go without dental care; this partnership helps us make a lasting impact on the oral healthcare of those who truly need it the most,” he added.
This two-year agreement is the second of its kind between USC and CRC, who began a three-year engagement in Kern County two years ago. CRC’s multi-year commitment will help address the ongoing need for dental care for the most vulnerable in LAUSD. Students with the most critical needs receive dental exams and services in Ostrow’s specially equipped mobile dental clinics.
The dental staff also encourages families to visit a dentist regularly.