WHAT WE DO

The Children’s Dental Health Clinic is a non-profit comprehensive dental home and teaching program housed on the campus of the Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital with a Long Beach Unified School District school-based clinic on Santa Catalina Island. We are the safety-net oral health provider for underserved and medically compromised children and young adults (aged 0-21) and serve approximately 6,500 patients each year.

We provide quality, comprehensive oral health services that include General and Pediatric Dentistry, Oral Hygiene Education, an Early Intervention Program, Orthodontia, Endodontics, Periodontics, Oral Surgery, treatment with intravenous sedation, and treatment under general anesthesia in the operating rooms of the Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

We are an accredited premier training facility for multi-dental specialties. In partnership with the University of Southern California (USC) we provide resident training for Pediatric Dentists and Oral Surgeons. In partnership with Cerritos College and West Coast University we serve as a training site for Registered Dental Hygienists and Registered Dental Assistants.

We advocate for a more effective and expansive social safety net and our team members have served in leadership roles with the prominent industry groups like the California Dental Association, the California Dental Hygienist’s Association, the Dental Board of California.

Our Executive Director, John Blake, DDS, is a staunch advocate for improvements to structural inequalities contributing to inequitable oral health outcomes of children at the local and state levels. Currently serving as President-elect of the California Dental Association, his work has contributed to significant improvements in Denti-Cal, the State of California’s Medicaid dental program, which provides coverage for half of California’s children and 90% of our patients.

WHO WE ARE

Our team is made up of more than 50 dedicated clinicians, administrators, residents, and trainees who are passionate about providing quality and comprehensive oral health care to our community. We love our work and celebrate the years of service that all of us have given to the CDHC.

Dental Treatment

  • Alma Artiaga, Registered Dental Assistant, 6 years of service
  • Dr. John Blake, DDS, Executive Director & Dental Director, 19 years of service
  • Dr. Carmen Castillo, DDS, General Dentist, 32 years of service
  • Dr. Michelle Comroe, DDS, General Dentist, 3 years of service
  • Pamela Davis-Washington, Registered Dental Assistant, 41 years of service
  • Jacsiri Gabino, Registered Dental Assistant, 20 years of service
  • Dr. Bhavin Ghandi, DDS, General Dentist, 32 years of service
  • Dr. Curtis Kam, DDS, General Dentist, 32 years of service
  • Dr. Shivani Kesav, Pediatric Dentist, 2 years of service
  • Dr. David Lee, DDS, General Dentist, 22 years of service
  • Dr. Eleanor Lin, General Dentist, 7 years of service
  • Dr. Jonathan Lo, DDS, Pediatric Dentist, 15 years of service
  • Melissa Mittwer, Registered Dental Assistant, 5 years of service
  • Maria Negrete, Registered Dental Assistant, 34 years of service
  • Dr. Hanh Nguyen, DDS, General Dentist, 27 years of service
  • Jean Petrillo, Registered Dental Hygienist, 16 years of service
  • Elizabeth Ramos-Bush, Registered Dental Assistant, 26 years of service
  • Dr. Jill Shang, DDS, Pediatric Dentist, 12 years of service
  • Dr. Sarah Silverstein, DDS, Pediatric Dentist, 4 years of service
  • Dr. David Taylor, DDS, Pediatric Dentist, 7 years of service
  • Evelyn Trujillo, Sterilization Tech, 14 years of service
  • Dr. Alex Tu, DDS, Pediatric Dentist, 16 years of service
  • Elizabeth Valdivia, Registered Dental Hygienist – AP, 11 years of service
  • Antonia Valencia, Registered Dental Assistant, 22 years of service
  • Dr. Lowrey Wong, DDS, General Dentist, 27 years of service

Front Office

  • Francisca Cardenas, Patient Care Coordinator, 20 years of service
  • Paola Cardenas, Billing and O.R. Coordinator, 22 years of service
  • Cinthia Ibarra, Receptionist, 4 years of service
  • Belbett Martinez, Treatment Coordinator, 11 years of service
  • Daisy Perez, Front Office Assistant, 3 years of service
  • Victoria Sandoval, Specialized Services Coordinator, 20 years of service

Early Intervention & Outreach

  • Iveth Barajas Diaz, Patient Care Coordinator, <1 year of service
  • Jean Petrillo, Registered Dental Hygienist, 16 years of service
  • Elizabeth Valdivia, Registered Dental Hygienist – AP, 11 years of service

Administration

  • Dr. John Blake, DDS, Executive Director & Dental Director, 19 years of service
  • Dr. Karen Byrnes, PhD, Director of Advancement, <1 year of service
  • Mark Culbertson, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, 11 years of service
  • Pam Davis-Washington, Clinical Operations Manager, 41 years of service
  • Tiffany Huynh, Accounts Coordinator, 12 years of service
  • Kim H. Minix, Human Resources Manager/Executive Assistant, 5 years of service
  • Amairani Padilla, Advancement Associate, 3 years of service

Orthodontics

  • Ruby Araujo, Orthodontic Office Manager, 24 years of service
  • Dr. Christine Chung, DMD, MS, Orthodontics, 7 years of service
  • Delita Fleming, Registered Dental Assistant, 8 years of service
  • Veronica Mejia, Registered Dental Assistant, 15 years of service
  • Iliana Ortiz, Registered Dental Assistant, 20 years of service
  • Raul Salcedo, Registered Dental Assistant, 4 years of service

USC Residents

  • Dr. Chris Y. Mayeda, DDS, Pediatric Dental Residency Program Director, 6 years of service
  • Dr. Carla Alvarez, DDS, 1 year pediatric dental residency
  • Dr. Tiffany Chan, DDS, 1 year pediatric dental residency
  • Dr. Khoa Le, DDS, 1 year pediatric dental residency
  • Dr. Jesslyn White, DDS, 1 year pediatric dental residency

Trainees

Board of Directors

John T. Anderson, Jr., Esq.
Board President
Attorney

Rhiannon White
Secretary
Vice President & Health Client Services Manager
Farmers & Merchants Bank

Carmen Castillo, DDS
General Dentist

Bhavin Gandhi, DDS
General Dentist

Charles Weaver
Real Estate Agent

Jonathan Lo, DDS
Vice President
Pediatric Dentist

Julie Mendell
Treasurer
Retired Elementary Principal, LBUSD

George Egbert, MBT
Tax Consultant

Ronald Rand
Morgan Stanley

Alex Tu, DDS
Pediatric Dentist

John L. Blake, DDS
Non-Voting Member

The original mobile clinic, 1932

OUR HISTORY

The Children’s Dental Health Clinic was established in 1932 by Dr. Robert E. Anderson, Dental Inspector for the city of Long Beach school system, who witnessed the alarming prevalence of dental disease in our community’s school children. With the idea that dental care could be brought to children in Long Beach schools, Dr. Anderson secured a trailer and converted it into a dental clinic. With early support from organizations like the Junior League of Long Beach and the Harbor Dental Society, the dream of providing convenient dental screenings and care to young students began with this small mobile clinic making its way from school to school and building healthy smiles for healthy communities. In 1970, the Clinic moved into leased space on the campus of the Miller Children’s Hospital at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, joining other independent non-profit children’s health providers under the vision of Loraine Huntington Miller of treating the “whole child.”

The current clinic on Santa Catalina Island, Established 2012

90 years since our inception, and with the support of hundreds of individuals and organizations, we continue to exist and serve the same purpose in our community. Our clinics have been the dental home to more than half a million children since our inception—including Beverly O’Neill, former Mayor of the City of Long Beach, the city’s only three-term citywide elected mayor, and lifelong advocate for the CDHC.

The current clinic in Long Beach, 2022

Today our mission is to deliver oral health education and comprehensive treatment for economically disadvantaged children, including those with complex medical considerations, while also providing premier training in pediatric and multi-specialty dentistry.

We remain steadfast in our belief that every child deserves access to quality and comprehensive oral health care irrespective of demographics, household financial status, or geography.