WHAT: Grand opening of new nonprofit Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center established to address significant oral healthcare needs of low-income seniors in San Diego.
- New integrated and holistic care model links high-quality and affordable oral healthcare with a suite of nutrition, social and wellness services
Preliminary findings of prevalence and severity of dental issues of first 300 patients screened
- Established with $2 million in grants from philanthropists Gary and Mary West through the Gary and Mary West Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization based in San Diego, dedicated to helping seniors in need successfully age in place
- 1,400-square-foot clinic is expected to treat more than 1,000 low-income seniors during its first year
WHY: Poor oral health among seniors has become a hidden epidemic in San Diego and across the country with millions living with untreated cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss due to limited or no access to basic dental care.
- According to San Diego County’s 2012 Survey of Older Americans, more seniors were concerned about being able to afford dental care than medical care (38% vs. 30%). This was their greatest concern among eight health related issues
- According to the CDC, seniors have a higher rate of new tooth decay than children and are prone to issues like dry mouth, tooth loss, oral cancer and periodontal disease. The prevalence and severity of these conditions increase with age
WHO: West Senior Dental Center Leaders, Government Officials, Seniors
- U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins, San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts
- Shelley Lyford, president and CEO, West Health, and chairman of the West Senior Dental Center board of directors
- Dr. Karen Becerra, DDS, MPH, CEO and dental director, West Senior Dental Center. Spanish-speaking
- Paul Downey, president, Serving Seniors, Chair of the California Commission on Aging
- Patients like Avelina Greeno, 68-year-old former receptionist from National City who received new dentures after years of struggling with dental issues that interfered with her ability to eat, speak and interact with friends
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016
9:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.
WHERE: Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center
1525 Fourth Ave. in Downtown San Diego
(Located inside the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center. Street parking available.)
SPECIAL — BEST TIME TO COVER:
9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tours and interviews with speakers and seniors
11:00 a.m. to 11:20 a.m.: Ribbon-cutting and media interviews
11:20 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Program