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Borrego Health Launches Anti-Cavity Campaign in Coachella Valley


Borrego Health, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation and a Federally Qualified Health Center in partnership with First 5 Riverside, is launching several community events to prevent childhood caries and to promote regular preventive oral health visits for children. These events are designed to inform community stakeholders and dental providers about the importance of early and continuous oral health visits. This series is made possible with funding from First 5 Riverside.

The second event of the series titled “Preventing and treating early childhood caries: What every dentist ought to know!” will be held on June 13, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences in Eisenhower Medical Center, located at 39000 Bob Hope Drive Rancho Mirage, CA. 92270. There is no cost to attend the event and participating providers will receive two continuing education credits. Dinner will be provided.

Dr. Jan Ellis, DDS, the keynote speaker, has more than a decade of experience developing and maintaining more than 45 dental practices in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. With an estimated 60,000 low-income children screened during her career, she will present proven strategies for preventing and treating early childhood caries in low-income populations.

The series is part of the organization's efforts to improve overall oral health outcomes for children in Coachella Valley. According to a 2010 report by the Health Assessment Resource Center (HARC), approximately 20,000 or 45% of children 0-5 in Eastern Riverside County had never been to a dentist. Dentists recommend that children visit a dental provider within the first six months of their first tooth surfacing. In Eastern Riverside, approximately 70% of children had not seen a dentist during this time frame.

This is concerning especially since the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, yet it is completely preventable. The HARC 2010 reports that approximately 28% of children in Eastern Riverside do not have any kind of health coverage that pays for some or all of their dental care.

Lower-income children that do not have dental coverage are less likely to receive preventive dental care including dental cleanings and sealants. Untreated caries or tooth decay in children can affect speech, nutrition, growth, social development, success in school, and overall quality of life. "Oral Health in America: A report by the Surgeon General" states that United States children with dental problems miss more than 51 million hours of school each year, and the American Journal of Public Health reports there is a clear link between poor oral health and poor scholastic performance.

Lenny Pepper, Borrego Health Vice President of Special Projects who works closely with Borrego Health Dental said, “In this learning series we will share our experience delivering dental care, improving access, and working with community organizations and partners. He continues, "In this way, we hope to encourage more providers to work with low-income children and families to receive needed dental services."


Borrego Community Health Foundation, doing business as Borrego Health, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with 11 clinics, one mobile medical unit, and three mobile dental clinics throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties in California.

The mission of Borrego Health is to provide high quality, efficient, customer-focused care to all communities served by providing access to patient-centered, comprehensive care to all residents, regardless of their ability to pay.

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