ABOUT US

Despite significant advances in dentistry and our ability to prevent many oral healthcare issues, dental disease remains a significant and widespread problem in America, particularly for low-income seniors. If improvements in access, affordability, education and awareness do not occur, oral disease and related health issues will become an increasingly prevalent and costly public health issue for our aging population. Establishing and maintaining good oral healthcare is critical to successful aging.

The mission of the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center is to provide affordable, high-quality oral healthcare with comprehensive education, clinical, and wellness services for seniors in need, enabling them to live healthy and productive lives. The Senior Dental Center links high-quality and affordable oral healthcare with a suite of nutrition, case management and wellness services offered through the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, creating a one-of-a-kind, integrated community-based system of care for older adults.

 

502

Patients Treated

3046

Number of Visits

283

Days Open

30+

# of Collaborators

 

To address the critical need for oral healthcare for seniors, philanthropists Gary and Mary West created the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, a nonprofit, integrated community dental center dedicated to serving low-income seniors in downtown San Diego.

The West Senior Dental Center links high-quality and affordable oral healthcare with a suite of nutrition, case management and wellness services offered through the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, creating a one-of-a-kind, integrated community-based system of care for older adults.

OUR TEAM

Board of Directors

Shelley Lyford
Chair of the Board

In her role as West Health’s chief executive and president, Shelley Lyford brings extensive experience in developing and executing new aging initiatives to advance West Health’s mission to enable seniors to successfully age, living life on their own terms with access to high-quality health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of

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Paul Downey
Board Member

Paul Downey became President and CEO of Serving Seniors in 1995 and has guided the agency’s innovative efforts to provide supportive services focused on keeping low-income seniors healthy and independent.  The agency serves over 580,000 nutritious congregate and home-delivered meals (breakfast and lunch) annually, 365 days per year, at 10 sites in San Diego County.

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Marc Harper
Board Member

Marc joined West Partners in 2010 as the Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining West Partners, Marc managed the Deloitte Tax’s Private Client Services practice in Orange County. Marc was also previously a managing director of myCFO. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants,  American Bar Association, and the California

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Clinical

KAREN BECERRA, DDS, MPH
CEO, Dental Director

As the CEO and Dental Director of the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Karen Becerra, D.D.S., M.P.H., brings two decades of clinical research and expertise as a practicing dentist to help establish the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center. Dr. Becerra is a dedicated health professional with a track record of excelling

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Denise Hope Frances, DMD, FADPD, RPT
Dentist

As a Dentist of the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Denise Hope Frances, D.M.D., F.A.D.P.D., R.P.T., brings over fifteen years of expertise as a practicing dentist with a focus in Special Care Dentistry. In addition to her role with the Senior Dental Center, Dr. Frances currently serves as full time faculty at the

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Vicki Petropoulos DMD, MS, FACP
Dentist

As a Board Certified Prosthodontist at the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Vicki C. Petropoulos D.M.D., M.S., F.A.C.P brings over 22 years of experience in her expertise in Prosthodontics. Her specialty training in Prosthodontics has been rigorous and her day-to-day experience in practice touches every conceivable challenge in delivering smiles with a high

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Bashar Dalloul, DDS
Dentist

As a part time dentist, Dr. Bashar Dalloul sees patients with a wide range of needs. Dalloul is a well-known local dentist with a passion to help the San Diego community. Dalloul enjoys all fields of dentistry and takes care of his patients like family, he especially enjoys seeing senior patients and creating special bonds

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May Chou, DDS
Dentist

Dr. May Chou is a Mandarin speaking dentist who brings a wealth of knowledge and value to the Senior Dental Center team. Her primary responsibilities include preforming oral exams and treating the Mandarin speaking patient population, specifically helping them by explaining so they can understand their oral health problems. Chou’s interests include health issues and

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Mylene Stillwaggon
Dental Hygienist

As a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) at the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Mylene Stillwaggon’s role is to provide oral health education, nutritional education and counseling, preventative treatment, and non-surgical periodontal therapy to patients. While moonlighting at the Senior Dental Center, Stillwaggon maintains another hygienist position at a private dental office in San Diego.

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Brenda Ojeda, RDA
Registered Dental Assistant

As a Registered Dental Assistant at the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Brenda Ojeda assists patients in resolving minor difficulties, prepares operatory for patient treatment, helps with x-rays, and monitors scheduled patient flow. Ojeda received her dental assistant degree from Concorde Career College. Brenda comes from a very close family. While growing up,

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Yan “Eddie” Liu
Dental Assistant

As a Dental Assistant at the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Yan Liu monitors patient flow and assists dentists and the hygienist by assuring that all patients are getting to the operatory and are comfortable during their dental treatment. Liu is bilingual and assists with the Chinese and Mandarin/Cantonese speaking patients to communicate

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Luis Yesca
Registered Dental Assistant

Luis Yesca has been a licensed Dentist in Mexico since 2000 and a Register Dental Assistant in California since 2005. This has allowed him to continue his passion of bringing smiles back to patients.  His hobbies include spending quality time with family and giving back to the community by volunteering for several causes especially for

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Administrative

Ayrielle Franco, MPH
Grants Manager

In her role as Grants Manager for the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Ayrielle Franco is responsible for researching, generating, and securing grant proposals and external funding opportunities to support the center’s mission to provide affordable, high-quality oral healthcare to low-income seniors. Prior to joining the Gary and May West Senior Dental Center,

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Lizbeth Chavez
Office Manager

Lizbeth Chavez enjoys working and living in her home town, beautiful San Diego. She enjoys relaxing at the beach reading a book and listening to music, enjoys shopping in San Diego’s local owned establishments in the effort of supporting local vendors. Lizbeth has been in the dental field since 1994, specializing in all insurance billing

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Michelle Sainz
Front Office Administrator

As a front office administrator at Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center, Michelle Sainz helps patients understand how their coverage works under patient insurance or public health coverage. Sainz also helps them understand the importance of care coordination between dentist and primary care providers. She has been in the dental field for over 8 years,

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Caroline Berger
Program Coordinator

In her role as program coordinator, Caroline Berger supports the general operations and fundraising efforts including collaborating with community partners to raise awareness and funds for the Senior Dental Center. Berger also works with coordinating the volunteer efforts. Berger offers general operations support with accounting, social media and other projects as well. Prior to her

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  • “Many, many thanks to Dr. Becerra and the staff at the Gary and Mary West Senior Dental Center. Your hard work and coordination has given me the ability to eat food I haven’t had in years, given me confidence in my smile, and made me feel like a new person. I can’t thank you enough.”

    Audrey, 62
  • “Thank you so much. You’re in my thoughts today because I am so grateful for your expertise. I have hope that my health will be the best it can be now that you are taking care of my dental needs again.”

    Carol, 74
  • “Admiro tu sencillez y el buen trato que reciben las personas de tí. Gracias. Con cariño.”

    Antonio, 76
  • “To all gold medalists at Senior Dental Center – 1st in caring for us. 1st in being angels. I love all of you for doing what you do.”

    Walter, 69
  • “This unique model of dental care has the potential to lower healthcare costs by providing critical oral healthcare to seniors who can’t afford it, and therefore avoiding costly hospital interventions.”

    SHELLEY LYFORD, Board Member

 

OUR WORK

RESEARCH, POLICY & ADVOCACY

Research, policy and advocacy are part of our efforts to provide solutions to the lack of oral healthcare for seniors. We are launching several research studies to demonstrate that our model of care positively impacts health outcomes, lowering the cost of healthcare.
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EDUCATION & PREVENTION

Preventive care and education are key elements to optimal oral health. We provide thorough exams to evaluate a patient’s total health, not just teeth and gums. We educate each patient on the importance of routine cleanings, flossing and early detection to help ensure long-lasting, positive results and prevent extensive dental disease and complex treatment later.

HIGH-QUALITY SERVICE FOR SENIORS

We provide a wide range of high-quality oral healthcare  services in a state-of-the-art facility with passionate staff, excellent materials and high-tech diagnostic and treatment instrumentation for best results. Our goal is to ensure our senior patients achieve and maintain long-term oral health, regardless of their ability to pay for services.

AN INTEGRATED CARE COORDINATED EXPERIENCE

Our model of providing care within a thriving senior wellness center ensures seniors receive holistic, patient-centered care. We’re dedicated to creating a place of trust and safety to deliver personalized care, making dental visits as comfortable, efficient and pleasant as possible. The staff at the Senior Dental center provides linguistically and culturally appropriate education and information to patients about the importance of good oral health and work with primary care providers to ensure continuity and coordination of care.
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RESOURCES

Learn more about our work and the importance of oral healthcare.

GARY AND MARY WEST, FOUNDERS
About Us
GARY AND MARY WEST FOUNDATION
About Us
SERVING SENIORS, Collaborator
About Us
OUR RESEARCH, POLICY & ADVOCACY
Policy
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH-David Willner, DDS
Volunteer

Thanks to Our Partners



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