CDA Cares receives major donations

El Camino Hospital and Santa Clara County have donated a combined $45,000 toward the CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic.

El Camino Hospital, which donated $20,000, is a nonprofit organization with hospital campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos. Its hospitals have served communities in the South San Francisco Bay Area for more than 50 years.

Barbara Avery, director of community benefit at El Camino Hospital, said the mission of CDA Cares fit naturally with the mission of the hospital, and that is why it made the donation toward the May 18-19 clinic at the San Jose Convention Center.

“El Camino Hospital believes in making meaningful investments in the community that will help ensure individuals — especially the less fortunate — receive the health care they need, and to fund programs and activities that are working to improve the health and well-being of the community as a whole,” Avery said. “CDA Cares aligns perfectly with that mission and we are proud to support its efforts.”

Earlier this month, the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors approved a $25,000 donation to the CDA Cares San Jose clinic.

President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Ken Yeager, said there is great need for dental care in the region.

“I am thankful that CDA will be bringing this wonderful event to Santa Clara County. Too many of our residents lack the proper dental care they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Yeager said. “I am proud that the Board of Supervisors was able to make an investment in an event that will pay such great dividends to our community.”

Marty Fenstersheib, MD, MPH, a health officer with Santa Clara County, said CDA Cares will not only help those who need treatment, but also educate them on the importance of maintaining proper oral health.

“While we continue to work on the long-term solutions to improve dental health, the CDA Cares event in San Jose this May is a positive step in helping to evaluate and treat acute dental problems. Oral health education and referrals to existing programs can be the first step toward improving what is a critical public health issue for many residents of Santa Clara County,” Fenstersheib said.

Avery said CDA Cares will especially help those who do not have access to care because of the state’s cuts to Denti-Cal in 2009.

“It was incredibly unfortunate when Denti-Cal benefits were eliminated back in 2009, as it has left thousands of individuals without appropriate dental care. This makes the CDA Cares initiative even more critical to raise awareness of the importance of oral health, and provide at least some care for those who most need it,” Avery said.

Don Rollofson, DMD, chair of the CDA Foundation, said the donations by El Camino Hospital and Santa Clara County will go a long way in making sure the San Jose clinic is a success.

“We rely on these extremely generous donations to give us an opportunity to provide care to so many people who need it,” Rollofson said. “El Camino Hospital and Santa Clara County have really stepped up to the plate and we couldn’t be more thankful.”

Yeager said he can’t wait to thank the volunteers.

“I look forward to being on hand to thank the dental professionals and other volunteers who are critical to this event’s success,” Yeager said. “Their contribution means so much to this county.”

CDA Cares was created by the CDA Foundation and CDA to provide free dental services and oral health education to Californians who experience barriers to care. It is also intended to raise awareness with the public and policymakers about the need for a state dental director and infrastructure to reinstate an adequately funded safety net and develop policies to improve the oral health of Californians. State budget cuts eliminated virtually all adult Denti-Cal benefits in 2009, impacting more than 3 million poor, disabled and elderly Californians.

Last year, the CDA Foundation and CDA hosted two clinics that provided $2.8 million in dental care to 3,676 patients thanks to the generosity of volunteers. Rollofson said he expects the San Jose clinic will have a similar impact. Dozens of legislators and local elected officials attended in 2012 and experienced the volunteer spirit of dentistry and the need for dental care in their constituencies.

For more information and to sign up to volunteer, visit cdafoundation.org/cdacares.