UCSF Mobile Dental Clinic

We’re spotlighting two images of the Mobile Dental Clinic on display now in our exhibit Many Faces, One UCSF¬† at the UCSF Library.

The UCSF Mobile Dental Clinic program originated in the mid-1960s. Led by dental faculty including Dr. Marvin Stark, the program provided care to underserved communities in California. Today, the Mobile Dental Clinic’s tradition of service continues with the School of Dentistry externships, a program that provides practical training for dental students and patient care to California’s rural and underserved communities.

Children in line in front of the Mobile Dental clinic, 1966

Children in line in front of the Mobile Dental Clinic, 1966. Photograph collection

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Mobile Dental Clinic treated patients in California’s Central Valley, including migrant farm workers and their children. Dentists, students, and other health care professionals traveled from site to site in buses outfitted with equipment and supplies.

Inside the Mobile Dental Clinic, 1974

Inside the Mobile Dental Clinic, 1974. Photograph collection

The work of Mobile Dental Clinic practitioners inspired students, including UCSF Dental Alumni Association Medal of Honor winner Nelson Artiga-Diaz. Artiga-Diaz would later become Assistant Dean for Community Clinics and help build the externship program.

Learn more about Artiga-Diaz and the UCSF School of Dentistry externship program here.

1 thought on “UCSF Mobile Dental Clinic

  1. I’m Augie Perez, University of California, Emeritus Youth development specialist. I had the privilege of assisting Dr. Stark while he worked with farm Labor camp resident families in Watsonville, Ca., Parlier Labor camp, Raisen City and Rural communities of Manteca, Mendota, Greyson and many other communities in the mid 1970’s. He was a dedicate Professional Dentist that helped hundreds of farm worker families and their children.

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