Partnership for the Children of San Luis Obispo County (PTC) was originally formed in 1994 to receive and distribute donated funding to local youth-serving agencies through a grant-making process. Eventually, the lack of access to pediatric dental services for children of low-income families was identified as a critical issue, which led PTC to shift focus exclusively to addressing this need.
Opening a nonprofit children’s dental clinic in San Luis Obispo County was a vision shared by several valued community partners. The Board of Supervisors for San Luis Obispo County voted to donate space in Paso Robles to house the clinic, the County Public Health Agency participated in financing and staffing, local contractors volunteered time and materials to help transform a vacated building into a state-of-the-art dental facility, and local dentists donated equipment and supplies.
Understanding the importance of good oral health, an infusion of start-up money for capital and operational purposes came in from some key foundations and other funding sources. Initial funders were:
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – $500,000 four-year matching grant through their Local Funding Partners Initiative
- The California Endowment – $450,000
- The San Luis Obispo Community Health Foundation – $120,000
- The Giannini Family Foundation – $25,000
- SLO County Children and Families Commission – $25,000
- Farm Credit West – $25,000
- Kiwanis Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa – $20,000
- Delta Dental Plan of California – $15,000
- United Way of San Luis Obispo County – $10,000
- California Dental Association – $10,000
- San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation – $5,000
- Partnership for the Public’s Health – $4,000
- Wells Fargo Foundation – $1,000
The vision of a children’s dental clinic became a reality and La Clinica de Tolosa, the county’s first nonprofit pediatric dental clinic, opened in July 2003. Since then over 15,000 children have received treatment (over 5,500 children annually), and it has become known as a trusted, dependable dental home for underserved children throughout the county, as well as a community partner who supports oral health efforts. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, in July 2013, the clinic was renamed Tolosa Children’s Dental Center to better convey the nature of the business and patients served.
Partnership for the Children employs an Executive Director to represent the organization at a local, county and state level by advocating for children’s oral health issues, build partnerships and collaborations that improve the oral health of children, and administer board activities that support the dental center’s programs and operations.
Tolosa Children’s Dental Center (TCDC)
Open since July 2003 in space provided by the County of San Luis Obispo at 717 Walnut Drive in Paso Robles, Tolosa Children’s Dental Center is the only dental practice exclusively specializing in pediatric dentistry for children from the age of infant to age 18 who are on Medi-Cal insured, low-income uninsured or in the Foster Care Program. TCDC offers the full continuum of pediatric dental services including preventive, restorative, and emergency treatment, as well as care requiring the use of general anesthesia by board certified pediatric dentists, and general dentists. It is TCDC’s philosophy that every family receives comprehensive, continuously accessible, coordinated and family-centered dental care – a dental home – that focuses first on preventing dental disease. At every visit oral health education and anticipatory guidance is provided to the entire family, reinforcing the instrumental role the family plays in breaking the cycle of poor oral health, thereby contributing to the goal of better overall health in the long-term.
In July 2014, TCDC expanded services through a unique partnership with the SLO Noor Foundation. Utilizing the Noor Dental Clinic, which serves only uninsured adults, TCDC provides services one day a week into the city of San Luis Obispo, bringing the high-quality pediatric dental services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in the central region of the county, and thereby improving access to dental care for entire families.
PTC employs a professional team. Clinical operations are overseen by a 20 year veteran of dental practice management, and we employ four pediatric dentists, two general dentist, several registered dental assistants, and a front office staff of four to cover both locations to provide top quality care to our patients.
With a total operating budget estimated to be $1,643,000 for FY2016-17, PTC anticipates recouping approximately 80% of our operational costs from subsidized insurance plan reimbursements (i.e. Denti-Cal, the dental component of Medi-Cal insurance). The remaining expenditures must be covered through grant funding, donations and fundraising events. Partnership for the Children (PTC) of San Luis Obispo County was founded in 1994 with an original purpose to receive and distribute roughly $130,000 donated by then U.S. Congressman Michael Huffington to organizations serving children in San Luis Obispo County. By 1998 the entire Huffington contribution had been allocated accordingly. With the welfare of children still driving PTC, the board of directors learned about the critical lack of access to children’s dental services for underserved families throughout SLO County. The realization that literally thousands of local children went without professional dental care launched PTC on a journey that resulted in the opening of the county’s first nonprofit children’s dental clinic – La Clinica de Tolosa – in July 2003. In celebration of 10 years of growth and service, the clinic was renamed Tolosa Children’s Dental Center in July 2013 to better convey the nature of the business and the comprehensive dental care it provides.
In 2011, thanks in part to funding support from First 5 SLO County, the dental office in Paso Robles increased its capacity to serve more children by gaining some space from the adjacent Public Health Office and undergoing an interior remodel to allow for more treatment chairs (for a total of 7), an additional exam room, added storage space, and a proper staff break area.
As of July of 2014, through formal agreement with the SLO Noor Foundation, PTC is leasing the SLO Noor Dental Clinic (for adults) in the City of San Luis Obispo to provide pediatric dental services one day a week (Thursdays) for Medi-Cal insured and low-income uninsured children.