The fourth annual Care Harbor free clinic, which kicked off Thursday, September 27, and ended Sunday, was a tremendous success. More than 4,000 people received free medical, vision and dental services inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, thanks to the compassionate care provided by hundreds of physicians, dentists, optometrists, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Together these volunteers transformed the arena into one of the nation’s largest free clinics by volunteering their time and expertise.
As he has in past years, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas donated both funding and staff resources to the event.
“Over a period of four days, we witnessed a tremendous outpouring of goodwill and kindness” said the Supervisor. “That’s why I am proud to stand with the tremendous Care Harbor organizers, partners and volunteers.
“Everyone has the right to decent, compassionate and accessible healthcare,” the Supervisor added, “and it’s a shame that our national discussion about healthcare is too often political and ideological in nature. This is a human issue.
I can’t speak highly enough of all the doctors and dentists, nurses and other volunteers who answered the call to help their neighbor in this time of great need.”
Care Harbor provided services on a massive scale last week – offering everything from eye exams and prescription glasses, to dental fillings, extractions and teeth cleaning, as well as immunizations and other health procedures. The clinic also arranged follow-up care with local community clinics and hospitals for about one quarter of patients treated.
One of those seeking care at the event last week was Kameka Jackson, 26, from Los Angeles. “I. don’t have medical insurance because I just got kicked off my mom’s medical plan because I turned 26 on August 22nd,“ said Jackson. “This is a blessing, she continued. “I’m a diabetic and I absolutely need medical insurance. I wish they did this more than once a year.”
Just as enthusiastic about the event were the medical professionals who administered care to the waiting patients, including 30-year-old nurse Jaclyn Risos. She heard about the Care Harbor volunteer opportunity on Facebook.
“I’m still looking for a job but I wanted to use my education to help my community,” said Risos, looking around the arena. “People have been so happy and appreciative of the medical services they are going to receive.”