First 5 LA gives UCLA dental school $11M

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Dentistry has received more than $11 million from the child advocacy group First 5 LA to expand access to dental care for young children and pregnant women.

The funds will establish the UCLA-First 5 LA Children's Dental Care Program, which will provide care to children from birth to age 5 and pregnant women for the next five years, the university noted in a press release. The program is aimed at underserved communities.

The program, which is also designed to help UCLA faculty gain a better understanding of the barriers that limit the use of dental care by underserved groups, will also work to do the following:

  • Add 10 community clinics to the dental home project, bringing the total number of clinics to 22.
  • Support capital investments to expand and renovate two community dental clinics in the county.
  • Address gaps in the current oral healthcare delivery system and improve performance.
  • Expand the dental school's community-based programs for dental professionals.

First 5 LA oversees the city's allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50¢ tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds help pay for healthcare, education, and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age 5 and their families.

First 5 LA gave the UCLA dental school $9.23 million last year, bringing the total amount the school has received from the organization to more than $20 million over the past year.

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