The focus of dental services at Virginia Garcia is primarily on children, up to age 21. We offer comprehensive dental care to children, both insured and uninsured, with the goal to establish a dental home for all children seen in our medical clinics. At Virginia Garcia, we recognize the vital importance of seeing children for their first dental visit by their first birthday or first tooth, and we hold “Baby Days” once a month at all of the Virginia Garcia dental clinic sites.
(Pictured at right, Dr. Lisa Bozzetti and patient.)
Additionally, we offer dental screening, comprehensive treatment and education sessions to established OB patients at all Virginia Garcia sites, whether or not they have insurance. At this time we are only able to see adults for acute care on a very limited basis.
VG Dental has become a leader in Oregon in providing dental services to pregnant women as well as early childhood hygiene and disease prevention. “We pride ourselves on treating and educating families on oral hygiene from pregnancy through the child’s first three years,” said dental director, Lisa Bozzetti. The OB Dental program, operating since 2007, continues to grow. OB patients are referred to VG Dental by their primary care providers who understand the importance of good oral hygiene during pregnancy. The OB Dental program is offered at no charge to Virginia Garcia patients.
Baby Days is a VG Dental program now in place at all Virginia Garcia dental clinics. “In this program we follow up with OB patients after delivery to teach them good oral hygiene practices for themselves and their infants – things like baby bottle cavity prevention and nutrition,” said Bozzetti. “Thanks to our partnership with Pacific University, Baby Days in Hillsboro will take place on the Pacific University campus.”
Another new program for VG Dental is the First Tooth Project. Virginia Garcia has served as a pilot site to develop curriculum and on-site trainings for dentists in disease prevention. The curriculum and web materials will be made available for dentists around the state. “This is especially important for dentists in rural areas who wouldn’t otherwise have access to this training,” said Bozzetti.
VG Dental is also making strides to improve the quality of its services. Last year VG Dental formed a Quality Improvement (QI) Committee to develop policy and protocol to improve service delivery and patient satisfaction. “We’re developing tools to measure the quality of our work over time,” said Bozzetti VG Dental adheres to Virginia Garcia’s ‘Because We Care’ model for tracking and responding to patient’s concerns and complaints. “We keep logs of all the feedback we receive from our patients,” said Bozzetti, “and we address those issues in our QI committee.”
For example, when Bozzetti became aware that there were inconsistencies with providers taking patients’ blood pressure and in telling them when their blood pressure was elevated, she brought the issue to the QI committee. “We developed a blood pressure protocol and created a ‘tear sheet’ ** that providers can literally tear off and hand to the patient giving them guidelines for how to control high blood pressure. We also developed a guide for providers on when to refer a dental patient for a medical exam.”
This past year, VG Dental had to contend with staff medical leaves and working with several temporary dentists. Bozzetti commends her staff and the dentists she hired on their professionalism and commitment to serving their patients in a crunch. “We had very little dip in productivity during that period,” said Bozzetti. “Kudos to everyone.”
With the help of a federal expansion grant, VG McMinnville added a full time dentist last fall and expanded hours to five days per week. VG Hillsboro will ad another part-time dentist this spring and will be open five days a week from 8:00am-7:00pm.
** Thanks to Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation Board member Fred Bruderlin, ODS Companies is covering the cost of printing for the blood pressure ‘tear sheet.’
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