Center for Oral Health Initiative Brings Innovative Oral Cancer Detection to San Bernardino Community Clinics and Healthcare Safety Net.

Every hour of every day at least one person dies from oral cancer... COH is providing the model to change that.

JANUARY 17, 2014 – In a groundbreaking implementation of a model project, the Center for Oral Health (COH) is partnering with community clinics, hospitals, and oral technology leaders to increase oral cancer detection in San Bernardino County’s Healthcare Safety Net. The project is made possible through generous funding by Kaiser Permanente.

VELscope Vx by LED Dental

The Center for Oral Health and LED Dental are donating two VELscope® Vx systems to SAC Health System (SACHS), a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive and low-cost health care services to the Inland Empire, to help detect oral cancer in early stages. The VELscope® Vx systems high-tech light enhances examinations and screen for tissue abnormalities, potentially leading to the earlier discovery of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions. As with all cancers, early detection is critical for enabling treatment success and increasing survival rates.

“The Center for Oral Health is thrilled to be partnering with community clinics and leveraging technology to strengthen the healthcare safety net in San Bernardino County by providing for early detection of throat and mouth cancers,” said Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, Executive Director for the Center for Oral Health. “This is an important step to bridge the oral health and medical provider worlds; there are about 40,000 new cases – and about 8,000 deaths – each year due to squamous cell carcinoma and other types of throat and mouth cancers, and that can be greatly reduced by integrating oral health into medical education.”

The partnership with SACHS and LED Dental provides hands-on, in-office training on oral cancer screenings and provides SACHS primary care medical and dental providers, and staff, with ongoing technical assistance in regard to the use of the VELscope® Vx for oral cancer screenings.

Further, COH is partnering with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) and the Community Clinic Association of San Bernardino County to develop educational trainings for healthcare providers about throat and mouth cancers.

ABOUT COH: The Center for Oral Health, founded in 1985, is a California-based non-profit organization whose mission is to improve oral health, especially of vulnerable populations, through innovation, research, education and advocacy. COH collaborates with national, state, and local partners to develop innovative community- based strategies that improve oral health.