Lighting the Way
1967 - A health survey shows that Venice Beach residents need dental care more than any other service. Advocates approach the UCLA School of Dentistry with a proposal to open a community clinic.
1968 - Approvals from Chancellor Charles Young and dental school dean, Dr. Raider Soggnaes, move the clinic project forward. A grant for $38,000 is secured for start-up costs.
July 17, 1969 - DENTAL CLINIC A QUICK SUCCESS:
UCLA Venice Dental Clinic officially opens its doors at 300 Lincoln Blvd. Dental director, Dr. James Freed, hires Venice residents to recruit new patients who are in dire need of care. Within days, the 4-chair, 1,200 sq. ft. clinic has a month-long waiting list.
1970s & 80s - Word spreads about the UCLA Venice Dental Clinic, which continues to be a safety net for the community. Demand for specialty services grows and the clinic has a yearlong waiting list to see a pediatric dentist.
1986 - Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center is established
A building across the street from the clinic comes up for sale. UCLA Dentistry board of counselors members, Bob Wilson, Gerald Jennings, and Bill Bloomfield, join their families to purchase the building, spurring the establishment of the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center. The new building quadruples the size of the clinic’s old space and dramatically increases the ability to serve the community.
1990s - The Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center becomes a fixture in the community and, in addition to general dentistry, now offers oral surgery, pediatrics, orthodontics, endodontics and more.
1997 - 1,600 ADDITIONAL SQUARE FOOTAGE ADDED
Gifts from the Wilson and Bloomfield families help refurbish an additional 1,600 sq. ft. of clinic space. The renovation adds six new operatories and more service facilities, expanding the ability to treat more patients with complex needs.
1999 - BISCO, Inc., establishes the BISCO Endowed Fund for Patient Care at the Center.
2000s - The Center reaches a patient volume of more than 15,000 visits annually, with the majority of patients using Denti-Cal or having no insurance at all.
February 21, 2007 - Ground-breaking Ceremony for New Pediatric Clinic
By the 2000s, tooth decay in children had become a significant public health concern and affected nearly two-thirds of children by the third grade. The Wilson and Bloomfield families help fund the construction of a pediatric dentistry wing.
April 12, 2008 - Pediatric Clinic Opens with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The pediatric dentistry wing opens, complete with a waiting room with toys and books, seven operatories sized for children and a reception desk. The new space also becomes home to a new community-based pediatric dentistry residency program.
2009 - The Center establishes a partnership with Upward Bound House (UBH) under the leadership of Mr. Tom Wilson. UBH’s mission is to eliminate homelessness among families with children in Los Angeles by providing housing, supportive services, and advocacy. The Center provides dental care to families living in UBH housing—restoring their smiles and self-confidence. The Wilson Family and The Schutz-Engel Trust supplement the Center’s efforts by supporting subsidy funds directed towards UBH patients.
July 19, 2019 - 50 Years of Providing Quality Care to the Community
Since its inception, the mission of the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center to provide comprehensive dental care to underserved communities has not changed. The Center has grown from a 4-chair operation to a 27-chair, state-of-the-art facility. A new radiology facility, imaging equipment, and a sterilization room are added to improve patient care.
September 28, 2019 - UCLA & Community Leaders Come Together to Commemorate the Anniversary
A special event will take place to commemorate the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center's 50-year presence in the community and the value that its brought to its patients. The School recognizes the following honorees: Mr. Bob Wilson, Delta Dental of California, and Dr. James Freed.
In the first year of my deanship, I found myself surrounded by faculty, students, staff, and fellow academic leaders wanting to introduce me to the beauty of this campus, this city, and this outstanding dental school – UCLA Dentistry. I have been warmly welcomed by the entire community to what has now become my home.
Making Saliva a Serious Business
“Most people are surprised when I tell them that saliva can reveal as much, if not more, than blood or urine can. We have made it our mission to make saliva testing a clinical reality to detect for serious diseases. And we’re getting very, very close.”
Decoding Oral Health: Diana Wang, Class of 2017
“I believe there’s a little bit of pathologist in all of us,” said Diana Wang, Class of 2017. “Patients always want to know why something happened to them, and pathology helps answer those difficult questions.”