Giving Taft Students Something to Smile About

Giving Taft Students Something to Smile About

As part of National Children’s Dental Health Month in February, California Resources Corporation (CRC) partnered with Taft Union High School, the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, and the California Teachers Association (CTA) to host a free, week-long mobile dental clinic that provided much-needed dental services in specially-equipped vehicles to as many as 150 Taft Union High School students.

Marking the second year of this three-year partnership, Todd Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer of CRC, said, “Partnering with USC and the CTA on this multi-year, free dental clinic is one way CRC helps to improve the quality of life for youths in Taft. With CRC’s entire workforce and operations within the State, we are dedicated to promoting an inclusive future for all Californians. By addressing basic dental care needs of local students, we are proud to help these future leaders of Kern County have the passion and energy to learn and thrive.”

Prior to the dental clinic, USC conducted thorough dental screenings of 700 students at Taft Union High School and found that nearly 10 percent of students were in severe need of immediate dental care and almost 50 percent had visible signs of immediate required dental services. USC selected the students most in need to participate in the dental clinic, while providing an opportunity for other students to sign up for dental care throughout the week.

“It’s part of the Ostrow tradition to provide dental treatment to those who need it the most,” said Dr. Roseann Mulligan, D.D.S., M.S., Associate Dean of Community Health Programs and Hospital Affairs at USC. “We’re thrilled that this partnership with CRC and CTA allows us to do just that at Taft Union High School.”

Eric Heins, President of the CTA, commented on the importance of providing dental services to underserved communities throughout California. “Students learn best when they come to school healthy and ready to learn. That’s why CTA is proud to collaborate with CRC and the Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC to provide much-needed dental services to students in communities like Kern County that often face healthcare challenges. Since children with tooth decay are 12 times more likely to miss school, which negatively impacts student achievement, we must do what we can to improve the dental health of the students in Kern County. This is a partnership we all can smile about.”

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