CareNow President and Founder Don Manelli, along with representatives from the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, the Department of Health Services, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Mental Health, and a host of medical, dental and vision volunteers were recognized at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting for serving thousands of uninsured or underinsured Los Angeles County residents.
More than 4,900 people received free medical, vision and dental care inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the four day CareNow Clinic. Now in its third year, CareNow is a non profit organization, founded by healthcare professionals dedicated to serving those who are underserved and uninsured. Eight hundred doctors, dentists, optometrists, nurses, and general volunteers transformed the Los Angeles Coliseum into a medical clinic where people received on the spot medical attention.
Prior to receiving medical care, all CareNow patients received a green, gold, blue, or red CareNow wristband, representing one of the four days of the clinic. People wrapped around the Los Angeles Sports Arena as early as 6:00 a.m. to receive the coveted wristband from as far as the valley and as close as downtown Los Angeles.
Such was the case for Yvette Bailey, of downtown Los Angeles who brought her four children ages, two, six, 15, and 10 to the sports arena to receive their wristbands.
“I am excited,” said Yvette. We arrived at 10:00 a.m. there was not a long wait and the lines moved quickly.”
Likewise, first time CareNow patient, Gensis Cruz, age 19, from of Hollywood, arrived at 10:30 a.m. and found out about the clinic from her school counselor.
“This is a great opportunity for people. I don’t have anymore medical insurance. I need my wisdom teeth removed and I need glasses. I’m trying to work and I don’t have any money.”
Minutes from receiving her wristband, Gensis said,” This is very much appreciated.”
CareNow is made possible by volunteers and supported by financial and in kind donatinos from local and national supporters.
“It’s great to see familiar faces each year,” said third year CareNow volunteer and Paramount resident, Carolyn Dilqule “My mother taught me to give back to the community at a very young age.”
Sitting next to Carolyn was 31 year old Jazmin Anderson of Santa Monica. The single, full time, mother of two said, “I like to help. I first got involved as a student when the clinic was held at the Inglewood Forum. She went on to say, “This is an annual thing. I love to do it.”
Download Care Now by the numbers (as a PDF document).
- 5,000 patients expected at free LA health care clinic over next 4 days (89.3 KPCC)
- Free Medical Clinic In Los Angeles: Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Comes Out Swinging (Huffington Post)
- Thousands receive Care at four-day clinic event (Annenberg Radio News)
- Thousands receive medical care at four-day clinic event (Intersections South LA)
- Free clinic puts emphasis on prevention (LA Times)