December 2, 2021 – On October 27, 2021, the AHMC Health Foundation announced they will support the Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation (BTCMF) to assist the community by donating $46,000. BTCMF will allocate this fund to obtain dental equipment for pediatric patients in its South El Monte and Alhambra health centers.
On November 18, 2021, AHMC Health Foundation board members – Philip Cohen, CEO, Monterey Park Hospital; Iris Lai, CEO, Alhambra Hospital Medical Center; Raymond Cheng, AIA, NCRB, Cedars Sinai Medical Center; and Sandy Ho, Executive Vice President & Group Manager, Preferred Bank – will meet the BTCMF team and BTCMF Chairman Dr. William Keh at Tzu Chi Health Center South El Monte, to present the donation check.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pediatric dental care is critical for preventing cavities, one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in the United States. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections, interfering with activities such as eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Expanding BTCMF’s pediatric dentistry services and increasing access to pediatric dental care will ultimately improve the health and well-being of low-income, uninsured, and underinsured children in our community.
The AHMC Health Foundation, a non-profit organization, formed in 2009, exists to improve the quality of life for people in the communities served by AHMC (Advanced Healthcare Management Corporation) hospitals. The AHMC Health Foundation intends to focus on addressing the disparities in health care, particularly those resulting from cultural and linguistic barriers that impede individuals from accessing care.
The AHMC Health Foundation will support programs and projects mitigating health issues prevalent in their hospitals’ service areas. The Foundation anticipates that the types of initiatives it will support will range from basic health screenings to the development of community clinics throughout the AHMC service area.
Established in 1993 as a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, BTCMF provides community-based medical care and clinical services for low-income, medically uninsured, and underinsured residents of Los Angeles County. BTCMF operates three community health centers in Alhambra, South El Monte, and Wilmington. Services include primary medical care, immunization, dental service, health education, optometry, and traditional Chinese medicine.
The BTCMF currently focuses on expanding its existing pediatric dentistry services to meet community needs. Nearly one-quarter of residents are children under 18 (22%), and more than one in five (21%) low-income children did not have dental care in the last year.
The BTCMF’s dental program targets low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people affected by systemic inequality, including migrant farmworkers, those experiencing homelessness, low-income school children, and college students. With support from the AHMC Health Foundation, BTCMF anticipates serving approximately 250 low-income children within a 12 month period.