The Coast News Group
Vista Community Clinic
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Vista Community Clinic improves dental care for kids with grant

VISTA — Vista Community Clinic has been selected as one of only 10 organizations nationwide to receive a $125,000 grant from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health’s Community and Care Transformation program.

The grant will support VCC’s mission to improve access to dental care with a special focus on pediatrics patients.

The program’s goal is to make it easier for children and families in San Diego County to get the dental care they need. Records reveal that only about 23% of pediatric patients receive dental visits in the same year.

Dental intervention during childhood has been shown to prevent many of the serious dental problems so often found later in adults.

According to VCC, the grant will help find solutions and increase annual dental visits and the quality of life for children across the county.

“At VCC, we wholeheartedly believe in early education and prevention to empower our patients to lead healthy lives. We are so fortunate to be a recipient of this grant because it enables us to expand our support and provide integrated dental and medical pediatric healthcare services,” stated Dr. Rebecca Cornille, VCC’s chief dental officer. “By fostering collaboration with our Dental and Medical Teams when caring for our youngest patients, we aim to close the bridge between medicine and dentistry and increase whole-person care.”

The program will be based at VCC: Vale Terrace, a place that serves over 10,000 children alone. At this location, dental and pediatric services are located in the same building, which allows the clinic to enhance the coordination of care between doctors and dentists, making it simpler for families.

The proposed program will also establish a critical link between medical and dental services by introducing an integration coordinator, a new position at the organization made possible by grant funds. This professional will bridge pediatric patients and parents with dental care.

The integration coordinator’s responsibilities will include facilitating warm handoffs between medical and dental departments, reminding parents of the importance of oral health, identifying new patients in need and more, according to the clinic.

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