California medical and dental groups announce location in Irvine shopping center for first integrated office with several others planned to open in the next 5 years.
A location has been chosen for the first co-located dental and medical office as part of a joint venture between MemorialCare and Pacific Dental Services®, and the new facility in Irvine, California, will take over the former home of an Ace Hardware store in the University Park shopping center.
Last year MemorialCare—a nonprofit Southern California integrated health system—and Pacific Dental Services (PDS)— entered a joint venture, and this week they unveiled the site for the next big step in the two large organizations’ partnership. The groups recently signed a lease at the shopping center, taking over the former Ace Hardware building at 18102 Culver Drive in Irvine.
This partnership between a regional health system and a national dental support organization (DSO) is made possible by a shared electronic health record system and sets a new precedent in collaborative healthcare. MemorialCare Medical Group opened its health center at the site in May and features physicians specializing in family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics. Next up will be the opening of Culver Smiles Dentistry this fall, a dental practice supported by PDS that will complete the integrated medical-dental office.
“MemorialCare is excited to be a part of reimagining health care and improving the well-being of the communities we serve,” says Barry Arbuckle, Ph.D., President, and CEO of MemorialCare, in a press release. “In just a few months we’ll watch our vision become a reality and most importantly patients of MemorialCare and Pacific Dental Services dental practices will have convenient access to primary care and oral health care in one location.”
This Irvine facility is the joint venture’s first of several co-located practices planned to open within the next 5 years, with PDS-supported dental offices located within select MemorialCare Medical Group health centers throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties. The new co-located offices will bring together dentists and physicians, working collaboratively to provide patients with integrated health care services. These providers will have access to shared electronic health records on the Epic system. This is designed to provide for seamless coordination of care and offer patients comprehensive, whole-person health.
“Our first co-located practice will mark a significant milestone that underscores our dedication to improving patient health,” says Stephen E. Thorne IV, Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services, in a press release. “This project’s momentum is driven by the shared commitment of MemorialCare and Pacific Dental Services to improving health outcomes through closer collaboration between the dental and medical fields. By prioritizing oral health, we can help patients improve their overall well-being and lead healthier, happier lives.”
Several studies in recent years have determined oral health is a critical component to overall health, so this integration of oral health care into the primary health care setting is a commitment by the two organizations to deliver easily accessible, high-quality care. This medical-dental integration also aligns with the objective of improving health outcomes and reducing annual healthcare expenses and unnecessary hospitalizations.