About More LA Smiles

What We're About

More LA Smiles is a UCLA-led Dental Transformation Initiative that aims to improve oral health access for 500,000 Los Angeles County children with Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal coverage.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children – Five times more common than asthma – and can lead to other health problems if not treated. In California, 54% of children experience tooth decay by kindergarten. The result: pain, infections, missed school days and costly treatment that often requires sedation.

The Good News: Childhood Dental Disease is Largely Preventable

Our Goals

Funded by the California Department of Health Care Services, More LA Smiles is a key component of the state’s Medi-Cal 2020 goal to improve dental health for children by focusing on:

  • High-value care
  • Improved oral health access
  • Utilization of performance measures to drive a delivery system reform

Collaboration

More LA Smiles involves collaboration among a consortium of key Los Angeles County Stakeholders.  The More LA Smiles Senior Advisory Board, made up of key leadership representing the diversity of consortium partners, serves as the voice of the consortium partners, helping inform the strategic direction of the program, and promotes More LA Smiles program offerings to the board member’s respective organizations and the community at large.

This transformative work is being accomplished via multiple strategies with support from a group of local and national subcontractors.  These strategies include:

  • Practice-level and system-level improvements
  • Professional education programs
  • Information technology solutions
  • Innovative performance measurement

Get to Know Us

Our Leadership

James Crall, DDS, MS, ScD – Program Director

Dr. Crall joined UCLA as Professor and Chair of Pediatric Dentistry in 2004 and is now Chair of the Division of Public Health & Community Dentistry. He previously directed two First5LA projects: the 21st Century Dental Homes Project and Children’s Dental Care Program. He has also served as Director of HRSA/MCHB National Oral Health Policy Center, and as Child Advocate for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. More About Dr. Crall ►

Hela Mor – Associate Director

Mary Esser – Contracts, Finance, & Human Resources Manager 

Quality Improvement Specialists

  • Helly Patel
  • Erwin Rosales
  • Edgar Villegas

Administrative Staff

  • Aaron Shearer
  • Nelesha Westmoreland

Communications Team

  • Iris Yokoi
  • Landen Celano

Our Partners

Consortium Partners

  • Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal Health Plans
  • Early Childhood, Education, and Family Support Programs
  • Professional Membership Organizations
  • Quality Improvement Organizations

Subcontractors

More LA Smiles also works with other groups and companies that support this initiative.