Origin Story by Judy Macias
Coastside Dental Collaborative was formed to address the gap in dental services for low-income coastside residents, especially farmworkers.
The Beginning of School Screenings
Philanthropist and community leader, Judy Macias, was able to secure $25,000 from Seton/California Healthcare West to help fund local school oral health screenings.
From 1999-2001, the collaborative group expands to include RotaCare representatives, interested community members, and local dental and health professionals. Dr. Ray Sheppard joins.
In 2000, Coastside Health Committee is awarded a 3-year Public Health Partnership Grant for $100,000 each year. This funding allows the committee to establish a dental clinic to serve the low-income population on the coast and start other public health projects.
A Clinic of Our Own
In July 2001, Brian Zamora, SMCPH (San Mateo County Public Health), commits to lease a clinic space. In the clinic’s first year, Sonrisas awarded over $600,000 in grants.
Dental Care Access
2007 Peninsula Health Care District puts access to dental care in their strategic plan, setting the foundation for their impact on increasing access to dental care in San Mateo County.
PHCD approves the funding for the launching of Apple Tree Dental (ATD) and leasing the San Mateo Clinic property to ATD at its August 2013 meeting.
New Name and Location
2015 Sonrisas joins forces with ATD to serve the most vulnerable in San Mateo County. The combined organization is called Apple Tree Dental California. The San Mateo Clinic is opened.
Back to Our Roots
In August 2017, Apple Tree Dental in Minnesota choses to leave the California dental market. With the support of the Peninsula Healthcare District, the organization is restructured and returns to its historical name, Sonrisas Dental Health. Sonrisas continues to provide much needed dental care for vulnerable populations.
Outreach and Education
2019 Sonrisas re-establishes its Outreach Program, focusing on School Screenings at Title 1 schools in San Mateo County.
2021—Sonrisas Celebrates 20 years of services to the community
We are grateful for the generosity of our community and look forward to what the future holds for our organization.