Rep. Costa Opens New Fresno Dental Center

Oct 25, 2010
Press Release


Without funds secured by Costa, new health center would not have been completed

FRESNO – Today, Congressman Jim Costa joined with local health care providers and patients to open a new dental center in Fresno.  The “Elm Dental Center” was made possible through the over $4 million in Recovery Act funding that Costa secured for Clinica Sierra Vista (CSV) to expand health care services and facilities in the Valley.

If it weren’t for the work of Costa and CSV, one of the nation’s largest community-based health center organizations, the Elm Dental Center would never have become a reality. With the design, plans, and 78% of the construction completed, the health organization initially leading the project declared bankruptcy. Recognizing that not finishing the project would limit patient access to oral health services, CSV stepped in and Costa secured the funding to bring the dental center across the finish line.

At today’s ribbon cutting ceremony, Costa reflected on the work required to complete the project and how important the new dental center will be to providing health care to the people of the Valley.

“I fought for these funds because leaving this dental center unfinished and abandoned was not an option,” said Costa. “When the future of this facility hung in the balance, I knew that we had to push forward. The people of our Valley deserve top quality medical facilities and health care. The Elm Dental Center delivers on these goals. I commend the work of Clinica Sierra Vista and its continued commitment to improving health care for families across our region.”

CSV CEO Steve Schilling highlighted the impact the new center will have on expanding access to oral health services for the greater Fresno area, especially the underserved in the Southwest portion of the city.

“We are excited about this opportunity that was made possible through stimulus funding and the important support of Rep. Jim Costa,” said Schilling. “We will now be able to deliver essential oral health services to the terribly underserved and underinsured populations of southwest urban Fresno. This project has been a long time in the making, begun by our predecessor four years ago. With a lot of help and community support, we are finally able to bring this important asset into play for the greater Fresno community and our patients. I couldn’t be happier about the addition of this important community resource for our neighborhoods.”

The Elm Dental Center was constructed at a cost of approximately $2.6 million. The project was completed by using part of the $4,008,251 in Recovery Act funding that Costa helped secure for CSV to improve and construct new health care facilities throughout the Valley.

The 7,756 sq. ft. facility contains nine updated dental operatories, a state-of-the-art electronic dental record system, modern dental diagnostic x-ray equipment, and a large community classroom and training area. It will accommodate two dentists, one hygienist, and additional support staff.