Dientes Community Dental Care has received a $1 million low-interest construction loan from Dignity Health, the parent company of Dominican Hospital, to help with its clinic expansion project at 1830 Commercial Way in Santa Cruz. The loan will enable the 20 year-old nonprofit dental clinic to break ground on its new pediatric and administrative wing in late 2013, with an expected opening in 2014.
“We are very grateful for this significant show of support by Dignity Health and Dominican Hospital as they partner with us to meet the health needs of our community.” Commented Laura Marcus, Dientes’ Executive Director, “This clinic expansion will double the number of low-income children we can serve with quality affordable dental care. With this loan, Dientes can begin construction while continuing to seek donations to conclude its capital campaign.”
The expanded clinic will include a new six-chair pediatric wing, a children’s waiting room, and administrative offices. By 2020, the clinic expects to provide 30,000 visits per year at its current location, and 10,000 visits at other locations in Watsonville and Santa Cruz; double its current capacity. The population served will be people living at or below the poverty line in Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities.
Pablo Bravo, Senior Director for Dignity Health Community Grants and Investment Loans, commented, “I believe that the relationship with Dientes Community Dental Care Clinic furthers the mission of both organizations, as well as ensuring the oral health of low income residents of Santa Cruz County. Community collaborations such as these are essential as we implement the Affordable Care Act.”
As the Affordable Care Act implementation swells the ranks of Medi-Cal recipients, Dientes is preparing to handle an influx of newly eligible patients. Nearly 80,000 residents in Santa Cruz County lack dental insurance. Dientes is one of the few local clinics to accept Medi-Cal and to offer sliding scale fees to those with no insurance.
The loan will enable the non-profit clinic to start construction on its clinic while continuing to solicit funds from individuals and foundations to complete its capital campaign of $3 million. Other major funders already committed include the County of Santa Cruz Community Development Block Grant, The California Wellness Foundation and the Helen and William Webster Foundation.
# # #
Dientes Community Dental Care’s mission is to create lasting oral health for the under-served children and adults in Santa Cruz County and neighboring communities. Dientes’ ten-chair facility is open six days a week and provides comprehensive dental care to adults and children representing the neediest population in the county; our services include oral health education, hygiene, general dentistry, endodontics, periodontics and pediatric dentistry.
Rachel Anne Goodman
Development and Communications Coordinator
Dientes Community Dental Care