In 1986, after consultation with school nurses in Pomona Unified School District, a new focus was determined for Assistance League of Pomona Valley philanthropic programs. In 1986, the dental needs of elementary aged children were astronomical. In many schools, low-income, uninsured families outnumbered those who could provide full dental care.
Our chapter members met with local dentists, and spearheaded by Dr. John McGwire, DDS, the Dental Center was created. The old parish house was redesigned, equipment purchased and volunteer dentists agreed to staff on a monthly rotating basis. Doors opened in the spring of 1987 providing 92 treatments prior to the end of the school year.
In 1987-1988, the Dental Center moved from volunteer rotating dentists to a paid staff. Our first hired dentist was Dr. Anderson Alas, DDS. Currently, Dr. Elva Maldonado, DDS serve our children. Treatments include everything from routine and emergency exams and cleanings to root canals and crowns. When needed, clients are referred to local partner dentists for more involved procedures. Treatment was also extended to younger (preschool age) children. Mary Hernandez has worked as Office Manager since the Center’s inception.
In 2019 the Dental Center started accepting Denti-Cal patients in addition to uninsured patients. At the same time treatment was extended to the adult family members of the children served, whether covered by Medi-Cal or uninsured. This allowed the Dental Center to serve all family members.
The Dental Center is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 am to 4 pm throughout the school year and as needed for emergency appointments. Referrals are coordinated through health office personnel in Pomona and Claremont Unified School Districts or by direct contact with the families.