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COVID-19 has made it difficult for families to seek immediate dental care; however, Free Medi-Cal Dental Youth Services (FMDYS) has made it easier for families to make dental appointments for their children. Two mothers shared how Outreach Health Educators at FMDYS were able to get their kids the medical attention they needed during a stressful time in their lives. 

“Due to the pandemic. I was having a difficult time getting my daughter scheduled to see a healthcare provider,” Jessica Sicairos said. “Most places only had appointments available one or two months out, but we needed to be seen right away.”  

Jessica’s daughter was in unbearable pain, and after some research and phone calls, her Outreach Health Educator was able to get her connected to a local dentist quickly and gethe treatment she needed for her root canal. 

“With everything happening, parents are worried about their kids’ health but also anything else that arises with our kids,” Sicairos said. “I’d like to say thank you to Fresno EOC for having this available for families. Having resources like this makes us feel like we are not alone, and we can get help.” 

Gina Varela had a similar experience. She had trouble finding a dentist for her son due to the impact of COVID-19. The Outreach Health Educator was able to act fast and connect the family to a dental provider. Varela’s son needed two fillings and had an exposed nerve.  

“A lot of places wanted me to just pay out of pocket,” Varela said. “With COVID-19, we are trying to hang onto whatever we have. Thanks to the staff, they were able to help us with everything.”  

With FMDYS, children and young adults 0 to 20 years of age can find a dental provider who accepts Medi-Cal and suits their needs. The program partners with the Fresno County Department of Public Health to educate families on proper dental hygiene, reduce childhood cavities, and establish a consistent source of dental care.  

Eligible families can contact FMDYS Outreach Health Educators Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm at (559) 457-7800 to answer any questions regarding the program, the free services we offer, and an appointment with a local dental provider.