Coverage of Apple Tree’s Sonrisas, CA, clinic in the Half Moon Bay, CA, Review:
Sonrisas Community Dental Center — a nonprofit Coastside clinic offering affordable dental care to low-income residents — is now affiliated with Apple Tree Dental, a Minnesota-based nonprofit with a similar goal.
The shift has allowed the Coastside clinic to expand its offerings, for example, in collaboration with the South Coast nonprofit Puente, representatives say.
“Until recently, farmers had to miss a day of work in order to travel to Sonrisas,” said Apple Tree Dental spokesman Dan Callahan. Now, through its affiliation with Apple Tree Dental, the clinic is able to provide mobile equipment that allows the patients to have a complete appointment nearer to where they work on the South Coast.
Dirk Alvarado has served as Sonrisa’s executive director for the last five years and pushed for the affiliation. In doing so, however, his job become redundant and he has since moved on to another job in San Mateo.
“In five short years he achieved his goal of ensuring sustainability and continued success of the Sonrisas Center,” Callahan said. “He left the organization in a great position.”
Dr. Dick Gregory, the dental director at the San Mateo Center, will take over responsibility for both San Mateo and Sonrisas, and Dr. Torrey Rothstein will continue in his clinical duties as the Sonrisas dental director and his role as the director of the one-year dental residency program the center conducts in coordination with New York University Lutheran Medical Center.
— Carina Woudenberg