Walking through the doors of the newly remodeled and expanded dental clinic at Children’s Village, patients and their families are greeted with a whimsical floor to ceiling mural that runs the length of the clinic. Painted by a volunteer whose granddaughter visits the Village, splashes of bright cheerful colors highlight the beauty of the Yakima Valley.
Gleaming floors welcome patients down the wide hallways where the sounds of silly music and the soft low voices of staff ease any anxiety about visiting the dentist. Every staff member is specially trained to work with children who have special health care needs, ensuring that every child’s experience is a positive one.
“Dental care, especially care for children with special health care needs, has been one of the fastest growing needs in our community for years,” Children’s Village Executive Director Diane Patterson said.
The clinic, which was expanded to 1,569 square feet includes all new digital x-ray machines, a bigger lab and sterilization center, three additional dental chairs and flat screen televisions mounted to the ceilings.
“The expansion is exciting on multiple levels,” Children’s Village Dentist Dr. Chris Chen said. “The clinic is set up to allow a standard of care for our patients that take into consideration their needs.”
Operated by Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, one of Children’s Village core partners, dental services are offered to all Children’s Village patients and their siblings. For some families, they have been receiving dental care at the Village for over ten years. Maria Hernandez has been bringing her son Christian, 22, to the dental clinic for years.
“We have the unique ability to serve infant patients who have graduated from the NICU at Memorial hospital to young adults with special health care needs and everyone in between,” Patterson said.