Dental Clinic Reopens at Peres School
Twenty-six years ago Dr. Dan Tanita, a Richmond Rotarian, opened a tiny dental clinic for children, in a janitorial closet at the Peres Elementary School. The clinic closed after Dr. Tanita retired several years ago. Don Lau pledged to reopen the clinic “even if it killed me.” Dr.Tanita died in 2022.
Thanks to the cooperation of WCCUSD Superintendent Dr. Chris Hurst Jr.; the principal and staff at Peres School; Dr. Tanita’s business successor, Dr. Josh Rosales (pictured); volunteer dental staff; and Richmond Rotary—whew!—Don Lau is, happily, still among the living.
Good dental care is about more than preventing tooth decay. At the reopening event, Dr. Hurst pointed out that children’s academic success correlates closely to dental hygiene. (Read Dr. Hurst’s statement at the event.) Dr. Hurst also noted that WCCUSD is the first district to house dental services within one of its schools.
Dr. Tanita’s daughter Kimiko teared-up as she reflected on the impact of her dad’s community-mindedness continues long after he has passed away. Good works have a way of rippling out and improving people’s lives well into the future.