Community: Group comes through for kids clinic

Community: Group comes through for kids clinic
Celebrating Leadership Burbank’s project to upgrade the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic during the ribbon-cutting reception on April 15 are, from left, Suzy Jacobs, class liaison; Renee Johnson, project leader; Dale Gorman, clinic executive director; and Rep. Adam Schiff.
(Photo by Joyce Rudolph)

There were smiles all around as Leadership Burbank class members proudly showed guests the new storage module and other upgrades made to the Kids Community Dental Clinic.

The unveiling took place during a ribbon-cutting reception on April 15 at the facility on West Elmwood Avenue.

The class originally was asked to build a storage shed, but after they toured the facility, they asked Executive Director Dale Gorman for a wish list, said Brad Recker, physical project leader.

“We are pretty much accomplishing everything on that list,” Recker said, adding they had started working the last weekend in February and worked between several rainy weekends.


“We still have to build a handicapped-accessible ramp leading to the front door and shelving in the storage shed — another weekend’s worth of work,” he said.

There was something for each of the 27 class members to do. They corrected water damage to the outside of the clinic, painted the building, installed rain gutters, improved the water drainage, added paving stones and built the base for the storage shed in the yard.

The total cost of the project was $23,000, said class treasurer David Escobar. The class raised $16,000 for the upgrades and received about $7,000 worth of in-kind donations of materials and labor from community members and businesses, said Renee Johnson, project leader. Some of the materials were donated, while others were received at cost.

Purchasing the storage shed allowed the class more time to perform additional upgrades, Escobar said.


In congratulating the class on the project, Rep. Adam Schiff said the storage facility was way too nice to be called a shed.

“It’s a garden house!” he said.

The storage facility is going to free up more space inside the clinic, said Ana Gomez, dental assistant.

“It will look more organized,” she said. “We were using our X-ray room for storage.”

The clinic provides services for children whose parents can’t afford dental treatment, don’t have insurance, or don’t qualify for government dental insurance programs, officials said. Treatment is available to children living throughout Southern California. A visit is $15.

Donating time to the clinic are 30 dentists, six dental hygienists, 55 dental hygienist students from Pasadena City College and West L.A. City College, and several volunteers, including Vicki Oldham, who gives 40 hours a week. The two full-time paid employees are Executive Director Gorman and pediatric dental assistant Gomez. About 7,000 children a year come through the clinic.

Leadership Burbank is a nine-month training program that provides people the opportunity to enhance their personal and professional skills, gain a deeper understanding of community dynamics, and build a network of colleagues and associates throughout the city.

JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at