On Saturday, March 16th we teamed up with the Festival of Health in City Heights, San Diego and celebrated the Grand Opening of the Cura Smiles Dental Clinic. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to bring so many key supporters and partners together to celebrate this momentous occasion. Our Board President, Bill Bramley, kicked off the event acknowledging our donors and supporters followed by Executive Director, Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, who provided background on the journey of establishing Cura Smiles’ First Free Dental Clinic in San Diego. County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez also joined us and discussed the importance of providing accessible healthcare to the community of City Heights. Thank you to everyone who attended and played a role in the opening of the clinic. We are incredibly grateful for your support. The Cura Smiles’ Dental Clinic will officially be operational on Saturday, April 27th 8am-12pm and every Saturday thereafter. Please view photos from the Grand Opening below.
After two years of hard work and dedication, we are very proud to share that the Cura Smiles team is hosting a Grand Opening for our first free Dental Clinic in City Heights, San Diego, CA. We are incredibly grateful for your support and are looking forward to serving the community of City Heights. Please join us on Saturday, March 16th 10am -11am at 4101 University Avenue San Diego, CA 92105 as we celebrate the Grand Opening. We will host a ribbon cutting ceremony and give tours of the dental clinic. We hope you will join us for this momentous occasion.
You can RSVP on Facebook here.
Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, an accomplished graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University, was recently invited back to the University to speak at Chapel. He welcomed the opportunity to share his story of navigating undergraduate life to becoming a Dentist, Humanitarian and Founder of Cura Coffee and Cura Smiles with more than 2,000 students at PLNU.
Beginning at the 23:00 minute mark, Dr. Fitzpatrick delves into his journey and shares who helped him along the way and why he is passionate about helping others through mission work, his dental practice and both of his companies - Cura Smiles and Cura Coffee. You can watch his 20 minute presentation below.
In early 2017, we met with the staff at the Health Promotion Center (HPC) in City Heights, San Diego and learned of the need for dental care in the community. For over 18 years, the Health Promotion Center has served City Heights by providing free health services to individuals and families who could not afford healthcare. Their staff communicated that many of their patients are in need of dental care and don’t have the resources to access it.
Knowing how critical oral health is to overall health, we wanted to solve this problem and help create a healthier, happier community in City Heights. We decided to form a partnership with the HPC and launch a free dental clinic adjacent to their location.
Once we secured the office space, we quickly began working to transform the space into the future site for a dental clinic. In just one year, we were able to raise the critical funds to completely renovate the space. You can scroll through a few before and after photos of the 4 rooms in our dental clinic.
We’ve made major progress in securing dental equipment and establishing the free dental clinic in City Heights. We are now within arm’s reach of opening the doors to the community. We just need to secure a few vital pieces of equipment and dental supplies to make the clinic operational. We hope you will join us in this worthy cause by donating. Your contribution will help us provide free dental care and foster a healthier, more empowered community in City Heights.
A special thank you to the private donors and foundations who have made all of this possible. We appreciate your support and look forward to creating a dental home for individuals and families in need in City Heights.
More information about City Heights:
“City Heights, known for its diversity, is a dense urban community of 95,000 living in approximately 6.5 square miles within San Diego. Poverty, unemployment, child obesity, asthma, and violence are some key problems this community faces.
The average yearly income for a family of four is between $19,393 and $24,400, within the range of the federal poverty level of $22,050.
Unemployment in City Heights is 20.5 percent, roughly twice the County of San Diego average of 11 percent.
42.4 percent of City Heights residents are foreign born.
City Heights racial and ethnic makeup is as follows: 54 percent Latino, 19 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 13 percent African-American, 12 percent White, and 2 percent Other.”
- California Endowment Fund
On Saturday, February 17th, fifty individuals came together for our inaugural Sip & Smile: An Evening of Impact with Cura Smiles. The event took place at the home of Steve and PJ Bothwell. Our audacious goal for the evening was to raise the critical funds needed to bring Cura Smiles' first dental clinic in San Diego to fruition.
Last year, Cura Smiles secured space in City Heights to establish our first free dental care clinic in San Diego. Working in collaboration with Point Loma Nazarene University, our team developed plans for the space and began renovating it. In just a few months, the once vacant rooms began to look like a welcoming future home for a community dental care clinic.
The Sip & Smile event brought us substantially closer to completing the dental clinic and making it operational.
The evening kicked off with a wine tasting by Bob Gelman, owner of Grape Connections, and a performance by concert violinist, Jonathan Levlim. Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, as well as Dr. Jordan Buzzell and Mr. Steve Bothwell, board members for Cura Smiles, spoke about Cura Smile's mission and efforts. The event concluded with nearly $15,000 being raised for the future clinic bringing us steps closer to our goal.
We are grateful for each and every one of the attendees and donors who have supported Cura Smiles. We are committed to creating sustainable dental care both locally and globally. If you are interested in further supporting the opening of our San Diego Dental Clinic, please consider donating here.
Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, founder of Cura Smiles and Cura Coffee, has not only dedicated his life to providing dental care as a dentist in San Diego, CA but he is also dedicated to creating sustainable dental care solutions in underserved communities around the world.
In December 2017, Burkhart Dental Supply Magazine sat down with Dr. Fitzpatrick and interviewed him to learn more about his story and experience on this journey. Select the images below to read the full story.