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Penny on El Rio
Learn about El Rio's Immunizations Program

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Dental Video

Jack on El Rio
Learn about El Rio's Dental Program

See the Video >>

Diabetes Management Video

Ernest on El Rio
Learn about El Rio's Pharmacy-based Diabetes Management Program

See the Video >>




El Rio operates the largest non-profit dental clinic in the State of Arizona, with more than 40,000 treatment visits per year. According to the Arizona Department of Oral Health, 36% of children, 44% of adults and 67% of seniors in our state have no dental coverage.

El Rio is committed to the overall health of our patients and works to ensure our patients have accessible and affordable options to oral health care. The need for dental care for low-income adults has become even more critical since AHCCCS (Arizona Health Cost Containment System), the state’s Medicaid agency, eliminated all emergency dental services – leaving patients to suffer with unnecessary tooth pain. Fortunately, El Rio’s Dental Partnership Program offers free emergency extractions and fillings to qualified patients. In 2012, 395 patients were helped through this donor funded program.


El Rio's Fluoride Varnish Program works to significantly reduce the incidence of early childhood cavities in children. Children are given a free oral health assessment and fluoride varnish treatment by a dental hygienist while they wait for their pediatric appointment. El Rio educates families on the importance of oral health and encourages families to establish care at El Rio’s dental department.



Of the estimated 12,000 homeless individuals in Tucson, over 8,500 have received primary healthcare, case management, advocacy, and behavioral health services through El Rio Community Health Center. Through The Health Education Project (THE Project) El Rio coordinates with other non-profit and government entities to deliver workforce development and health education classes at shelters and prison sites throughout our community. In addition to developing curricula and recruiting volunteer instructors, THE Project provides class site coordination as well as materials and training to the volunteers. For more information, please visit THE Project's website.



El Rio Children's Immunization Program was started to help the many parents we serve have their children immunized in a timely manner - especially low-income families who are often holding down multiple jobs with little flexibility. We are successful because 1) we run free weekly walk-in immunization clinics at multiple sites regardless of whether or not children have appointments and 2) we use the power of technology to track patients and have a bilingual staff member recall them at recommended intervals to come in and complete the schedule of vaccinations. See the Video >>




El RioIn partnership with the University of Arizona, El Rio Community Health Center developed an innovative, comprehensive approach to helping get pediatric asthma under control for those children and families that need it the very most - the Inner City Asthma Intervention Program. The program began in 2001 and includes free of charge 1) Intake and individual health assessment for the child, including allergen skin testing; 2) In-home environmental assessment; 3) Extensive individual and group education on controlling asthma triggers and managing the disease for patients and their families; 4) Supplies, including necessary medical equipment and supplies to control allergens (i.e. peak flow meters, HEPA vacuum cleaners, mattress/pillow covers); 5) Medications; and 6) Development of an individualized asthma action plan for each child.



In 2000, a law passed by the Arizona Legislature authorized pharmacists to enter into collaborative practice agreements with physicians to manage patient's drug therapy - including diagnostic and prescription privileges. This legal change provided El Rio the opportunity to implement our award-winning Pharmacy-Based Diabetes Management Program in August 2001 - using a residency trained, bilingual PharmD as the provider for patients referred by staff physicians. The program has clearly revealed statistically significant improvement in all clinical parameters monitored, including: blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and A1C. See the Video >>



Thanks to El Rio's Reach Out and Read Literacy Program, children under age 6 receive a brand new book at every well-child check-up and their parents receive guidelines for reading aloud with their children. With the help of donor support we have give out over 10,000 free books annually.



The El Rio TeenAge Parent Program is currently serving over 100 pregnant and parenting teens at various Sunnyside schools as well as the El Rio Teen Clinic. Services offered include education, health care, and child care for pregnant and parenting teens (fathers) in order to minimize the impact of pregnancy and parenting on success in school, improve pregnancy outcomes and parenting skills, and prevent repeat pregnancies. Education is also provided regarding pregnancy prevention. The program is available to all middle school and high school students in the district.



The Ventanilla de Salud (VDS) program is a unique partnership between the US-Mexican Border Health Commission, Mexican Consulate and local Community Health Centers. VDS is staffed by a Community Health Worker who provides critical health prevention and referrals to people receiving services at Mexican Consulates in cities throughout America. A representative from the VDS program attends health fairs and local events to educate the community about VDS services currently available through the Mexican Consulate. The program has been very successful in Tucson, with over 2,500 people served annually.



The Colon Cancer Screening program is funded by Walmart and the Amercian Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the US of both men and women, especially those over the age of 50. You could qualify for a Free test. Screening saves lives by preventing colorectal cancer, or finds colorectal cancer early, when treatment can be effective.

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