Responding to the critical need for access to health services on Treasure Island, San Francisco Health Plan (SFHP) and Delta Dental Plan of California have teamed up to deliver quality health and dental care for eligible Treasure Island children.
In concert with the San Francisco Health Plan's newest push to reach Treasure Island youth, Delta Dental has agreed to sponsor the "Tooth Mobile," a nonprofit-based mobile dental clinic that will bring "dentistry on wheels" to the doorstep of those children least likely to find dentistry on their own. Care will be offered, delivered and paid for based on eligibility under California's Denti-Cal program, the State's Healthy Families program and the nearly year-old San Francisco Healthy Kids program, which helps subsidize the cost of insurance for the children of working families not otherwise eligible for other insurance programs.
The Tooth Mobile will make at least three visits to Treasure Island, with the first visit to begin in December, and follow-up visits later in 2003. Additional efforts are underway to fund dental care for all children in need on the island, regardless of eligibility for other insurance programs.
"Dental disease has been described as a neglected epidemic by the U.S. Surgeon General, and it requires a concerted effort like this one if we are to loosen its hold on our children," said Marilynn Belek, DMD, Delta Dental's chief dental officer. "Partnering with the San Francisco Health Plan lets us address this epidemic by providing children here in our own backyard with complete medical and dental care."
There are approximately 6,000 Treasure Island residents. San Francisco Health Plan and Delta officials say they believe a significant number are children from lower-middle income brackets eligible for fully insured healthcare services under the San Francisco Healthy Kids program but are unaware of the program. Healthy Kids currently provides coverage to more than 1,500 children in San Francisco working families. The program includes quality medical, vision and dental coverage for just $4 per month per child. It is the second program of its kind in the nation to offer complete health coverage to children regardless of immigration status.
"The link between good dental health and overall wellness is strong, and SFHP is proud to team with Delta Dental to care for the complete child on Treasure Island," said Jean Fraser, CEO of San Francisco Health Plan. "SFHP's mission to make all kids healthy extends across the bridge to the children of Treasure Island as well."