Lighting the Way

Posted on: Thursday, 06/27/2019

1967 - A health survey shows that Venice Beach residents need dental care more than any other service. Advocates approach the UCLA School of Dentistry with a proposal to open a community clinic.

1968 - Approvals from Chancellor Charles Young and dental school dean, Dr. Raider Soggnaes, move the clinic project forward. A grant for $38,000 is secured for start-up costs.

July 17, 1969 - DENTAL CLINIC A QUICK SUCCESS:
UCLA Venice Dental Clinic officially opens its doors at 300 Lincoln Blvd. Dental director, Dr. James Freed, hires Venice residents to recruit new patients who are in dire need of care. Within days, the 4-chair, 1,200 sq. ft. clinic has a month-long  waiting list.

1970s & 80s - Word spreads about the UCLA Venice Dental Clinic, which continues to be a safety net for the community. Demand for specialty services grows and the clinic has a yearlong waiting list to see a pediatric dentist.

Donors of the new UCLA Venice Dental Center

1986 - Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center is established

A building across the street from the clinic comes up for sale. UCLA Dentistry board of counselors members, Bob Wilson, Gerald Jennings, and Bill Bloomfield, join their families to purchase the building, spurring the establishment of the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center. The new building quadruples the size of the clinic’s old space and dramatically increases the ability to serve the community.

1990s - The Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center becomes a fixture in the community and, in addition to general dentistry, now offers oral surgery, pediatrics, orthodontics, endodontics and more.

1997 - 1,600 ADDITIONAL SQUARE FOOTAGE ADDED

Gifts from the Wilson and Bloomfield families help refurbish an additional 1,600 sq. ft. of clinic space. The renovation adds six new operatories and more service facilities, expanding the ability to treat more patients with complex needs.

1999 - BISCO, Inc., establishes the BISCO Endowed Fund for Patient Care at the Center.

2000s - The Center reaches a patient volume of more than 15,000 visits annually, with the majority of patients using Denti-Cal or having no insurance at all.

Groundbreaking for the peds clinic

February 21, 2007 - Ground-breaking Ceremony for New Pediatric Clinic

By the 2000s, tooth decay in children had become a significant public health concern and affected nearly two-thirds of children by the third grade. The Wilson and Bloomfield families help fund the construction of a pediatric dentistry wing.

April 12, 2008 - Pediatric Clinic Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The pediatric dentistry wing opens, complete with a waiting room with toys and books, seven operatories sized for children and a reception desk. The new space also becomes home to a new community-based pediatric dentistry residency program.

2009 - The Center establishes a partnership with Upward Bound House (UBH) under the leadership of Mr. Tom Wilson. UBH’s mission is to eliminate homelessness among families with children in Los Angeles by providing housing, supportive services, and advocacy. The Center provides dental care to families living in UBH housing—restoring their smiles and self-confidence. The Wilson Family and The Schutz-Engel Trust supplement the Center’s efforts by supporting subsidy funds directed towards UBH patients.

July 19, 2019 - 50 Years of Providing Quality Care to the Community

Since its inception, the mission of the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center to provide comprehensive dental care to underserved communities has not changed. The Center has grown from a 4-chair operation to a 27-chair, state-of-the-art facility. A new radiology facility, imaging equipment, and a sterilization room are added to improve patient care.

Outside the Venice Dental Center

September 28, 2019 - UCLA & Community Leaders Come Together to Commemorate the Anniversary

A special event will take place to commemorate the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center's 50-year presence in the community and the value that its brought to its patients. The School recognizes the following honorees: Mr. Bob Wilson, Delta Dental of California, and Dr. James Freed.