The Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

Mission of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center (Virginia Garcia) provides high quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care to the communities of Washington and Yamhill Counties with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farmworkers and others with barriers to receiving health care.
May 31, 2013

Thank You!

A young patient getting her teeth checked
A young patient getting her teeth checked

When we first launched this project several years ago, we struggled to provide our patients with simple items such as floss and toothbrushes. But because of the support or donors on this project and through other giving platforms, we have been able to build our Dental Programs up to the point of expansion!

We are incredibly grateful to have partnered with our donors on GlobalGiving to reach new heights. While the fundraising goal that we set on Global Giving was not met, we received overwhelming support for our oral health care projects "offline." And together, the donations from our friends on GlobalGiving and foundations, corporations and individuals in our community, will create new access points for patients and a healthier communtiy overall!

As we prepare to close out this project, we thank you for your investment in our clinics and dedication to those in need.

THANK YOU!

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May 24, 2013

One Step Closer

In 2011 we announced plans to add a new dental clinic to expand access for our patients. Each of our four primary care sites includes an onsite or nearby dental clinic-- except one. Our patients that are seen for primary care in Beaverton, must travel to other sites for dental services, which is an added barrier to our patients who already experience challenges in their health care needs.

We believe that oral health care is an important component of a patient's overall wellness, so we are excited to move forward with this project. Below are some of the key updates on the progress of this clinic which is slated to open in Fall 2013:

  • We have been successful in raising the funds necessary to move the project forward and we have raised almost $300,000 in capital funds from a diversified group of partners.
  • We have identified an ideal location for the new clinic and we are in the final negotiations with the owner for the lease terms and property improvements. The space will provide our patients with access to the clinic on public transportation. Further, the property owner has offered generous tenant improvements to prepare the space and save Virginia Garcia start-up costs.
  • We have secured a corporate partner, DCI International, who has committed to the donation of the dental chairs and equipment needed to outfit three dental operatories.
  • In winter 2012, we received a multi-year technical assistance grant from DentaQuest, which provided us with an in-depth analysis and overview of our dental operations. The consultants noted that a start-up clinic with our planned staffing ratios should have at least six chairs to operate most efficiently and effectively. As a result of this recommendation, we’ve increased the scope of the project from three chairs to six chairs. (As stated above, we have secured the initial three chairs and we’ve been invited us to submit a request for the donation of an additional three.)
  • Our dental supply vendor partnered with us on development of the plan for the dental clinic and they’re working closely with a contractor to come up with a detailed plan for doing all that would be needed to convert the space for a dental clinic, including plumbing, trenching, electrical systems, etc.  
  • Not only does the new site have the necessary space for six dental operatories, it has additional square footage that will provide much-needed group visit and meeting space for dental programs such as Baby Days, and it can also be used by nearby Virginia Garcia Beaverton Primary Care clinic.
Feb 25, 2013

Gabriela's Story

Gabriela smiles with her daughter
Gabriela smiles with her daughter

“Your daughter is beautiful!” exclaims Yadira Martinez, dental hygienist at Virginia Garcia Hillsboro’s dental clinic. Gabriela Lopez beams. When Gabriela first came to VG Dental she wasn’t smiling. “My gums were sore and swollen,” said Gabriela. “I have a blood clotting disorder that makes it painful to brush my teeth, so I didn’t brush them.” Virginia Garcia’s dental director, Dr. Lisa Bozzetti, convinced Gabriela to begin oral health treatment starting with gentle cleanings and gum care.

“She was skeptical at first,” said Yadira. “In the past, dentists didn’t want to treat her for fear of bleeding. We gave her medication to help the bleeding and approached her care with caution. Little by little, her gums stopped bleeding.”

Gabriela also had untreated cavities. “Dr. Bozzetti told me that one of my teeth needed to be taken out.” After some searching, Dr. Bozzetti was able to find an oral surgeon who consulted with her on the procedure before she performed the extraction. The treatment was a success.

In the years that Gabriela has been coming to VG Dental for her oral health, she has never missed an appointment. “They are so accommodating in scheduling my appointments around my family,” said Gabriela. “The sliding fee scale means I can afford dental care for the first time.” All three of Gabriela’s children also come to VG Dental. “They like coming here. The dentists explain exactly what they are going to do. And they see that I am not nervous coming here so they aren’t afraid.”

Virginia Garcia’s dental services continue to expand. “This fall, we began providing oral health services to students at the new Willamina school-based health center and we’re looking ahead to opening a dental clinic in Beaverton,” said Dr. Bozzetti. “In each case, we’ve focused on the community’s needs so we can design our services around what works best in providing care.”

On her way out, Gabriela stops to chat with the receptionist. “I used to be embarrassed talking to people because of my teeth. And I didn’t like to smile. Now I do.”

Last year, Virginia Garcia’s Dental Program served 8,500 community members with vital dental care. Of those patients served, 6,200 were children with no other option for care.