Yesenia Chavez Medina had just moved to Westmorland, Calif. when she attended a presentation on children’s oral health led by two community health workers (CHWs) from Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo (CDSDP)—a Federally Qualified Migrant Health Center in Brawley, Calif. Supported by Red Nose Day Fund in 2016, the health center is part of the National Council of La Raza’s Healthy and Ready for the Future initiative which provides a healthy start in oral health and early education for Latino children from migrant and seasonal farmworker families across rural America.
While the CHWs, Cecilia Cota and Ana Solorio, discussed the importance of taking care of children’s oral health, the message struck Yesenia to her core. She considered herself a responsible mom, diligent about her children having health insurance through Medi-Cal and a stable family life despite having to move around as a migrant farmworker. Yet, she realized she had neglected their teeth. She feared her youngest sons, Miguel Angel, 4, and Jose Luis, 11, had cavities because they “sometimes complained of pain in their mouth or had what looked like rotting teeth.” Yesenia spoke with Cecilia and Ana, who helped schedule appointments.
Within one month, Miguel Angel and Jose Luis were seen at the health center. The dentist found cavities and there was a high risk for more cavities. The dentist worked with Yesenia and the boys on a treatment plan to get their teeth back to a healthy state. Yesenia was impressed by the quickness of the care coordination and expressed gratitude for the help extended to her by the CHWs and providers at CDSDP, her new medical home.
Through this initiative, she now understood the connection between timely oral health and overall heath and felt her two boys were on the right track to healthier lives.
We’re proud to partner with Red Nose Day USA to help end child poverty. By wearing your Red Noses, you’ve helped us promote good oral health in children. Don’t forget to tune in to The Red Nose Day Special airing on May 25 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC!