Reason to smile
City celebrates opening of dental clinic named for Supervisor Mike Antonovich
By Rebecca Kuzins 05/09/2013
The first city-operated public health dental clinic in California has opened in Pasadena and will initially provide basic dentistry services to people who are HIV-positive.
The new Michael D. Antonovich Dental Clinic, named for the Los Angeles county supervisor who represents the city and helped fund the facility, is located at 1845 N. Fair Oaks Blvd., in the same building as the city’s Public Health Department.
An open house ceremony held on April 24 to officially open the new facility was attended by Antonovich, City Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, whose district includes the clinic, and Dr. Eric Walsh, the city’s public health director and health officer, among others.
The department obtained more than $800,000 to build the clinic, including $358,625 for operating costs from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Division of HIV/STD, which enables the facility to initially focus on HIV-positive patients. The clinic plans to eventually expand its services to homeless people, seniors, young children and other underserved patients in Pasadena and the greater San Gabriel Valley.
However, Melanie Washington, a dentist and the clinic’s dental director, said a timetable for expansion has yet to be determined.
An additional $365,387 for the facility came from Antonovich’s office, with $40,000 coming from the Pasadena Community Foundation, $30,000 from the Patron Saints Foundation and $1,500 from the Rev. Rick Eisenlord of the city’s Good Shepherd Church.
The clinic is staffed by five employees and offers dentistry services such as cleanings, root canals, crowns, extractions and dentures. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on alternating Fridays. Services are free or offered at reduced cost for income-qualified patients.
The Pasadena Public Health Department is one of only three city public health departments in the state, the other two located in Long Beach and Berkeley. The Pasadena Health Department is the first municipal agency in the state to operate its own dental clinic.