Although National Health Center Week 2013 is officially coming to an end, educating policymakers and the public about the value of community health is an ongoing process.
In efforts to highlight the contributions of community health center personnel, the East Bay Area Health Education Center (AHEC) has chosen to showcase the successes of two dental professionals from La Clínica de la Raza.
Check out their “Profiles of Success” below!
Dr. Mariam Hashoush, DDS
Associate Dental Director at La Clínica de la Raza Monument
Dr. Mariam Hashoush is the Associate Dental Director at La Clínica de la Raza Monument, a community health center that has served Contra Costa County since its establishment in 2003. She received her B.S. in Biology from Cal State Hayward (now Cal State East Bay) and her DDS from the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Hashoush chose to do her first dental rotation at La Clínica de la Raza Fruitvale so she could stay close to home and care for her children. Her rotation program consisted mostly of fillings, cleanings, extractions, and other preventative work. However, after finding herself especially connected to the patients and staff members at La Clínica, she was inspired to pursue a career at a community health center. Dr. Hashoush went on to complete a second rotation at La Clínica Fruitvale and applied to work at La Clínica upon graduating from UCSF. She originally got a job working 3 days a week at the Fruitvale site and 2 days a week at the Vallejo site. After two months she applied to work at the Monument site in Concord, where she still works today seven years later. Dr. Hashoush considers it a great privilege to be able to serve the community as a dentist.
“Working at a health center, the feel is different. You feel like you have more down to earth relationships and you are making a huge difference in people’s lives. I’m doing it because I love it, because I care. This is my passion. This is where I want to be.”
— Dr. Mariam Hashoush
Associate Dental Director at La Clínica de la Raza Fruitvale Dental Clinic
Dr. Monica MacVane-Pearson is the Associate Dental Director for La Clínica de la Raza Fruitvale. After receiving her DDS from McGill University in Canada, she started a one year residency program at Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific (UOP). Through the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program at UOP, Dr. MacVane-Pearson did her dental rotation at La Clínica Fruitvale, where she gained valuable pediatric experience and exposure to community dentistry. She found herself to be a strong supporter of La Clínica’s prevention-based model towards oral health improvement, as well as its dedication to enacting positive changes at the community level through events like health fairs. While she did not initially plan on establishing a career in community health, she greatly enjoyed the ability to help both individuals and communities through her work at a community health center. After completing her residency program, Dr. MacVane-Pearson accepted a position at La Clínica Fruitvale and has served as the clinic’s Associate Director for the past five years.
“Before my rotation with La Clínica, I didn’t know about clinics like this and systems like the federally-qualified health center (FQHC) system. One of the reasons I didn’t go back to Canada was because we didn’t have clinics like this there [at the time]. My true calling as a dentist is to help people this way.”
— Dr. Monica MacVane-Pearson