Care Harbor, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that helps uninsured and medically underserved populations by organizing large-scale free urban health clinics, held its fifth annual Los Angeles clinic on Oct. 15-18 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
Care Harbor provided free medical, dental and vision care, as well as specialty and follow-up care, to an estimated 4.000 patients. The clinic was made possible by a grant and in-kind resources from L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (Los Angeles County, Second District), Tzu Chi Medical Foundation and assistance from more than 50 organizations and 3,100 volunteers.
Representatives from more than 50 local clinics and medical practices that provide primary and specialized care were on site to make appointments for follow-up services before patients left the clinic. Connecting patients to a medical home during the clinic helps ensure that diagnosed conditions are treated and patients are monitored throughout their treatment plan. Through its last four clinics, Care Harbor provided 56,742 free medical, dental and vision services to more than 13,620 patients, and over 3,200 of them were connected to medical homes for continuing care, including free surgeries. In addition, all patients received preventive care, considered the most effective and economical form of healthcare.
“This mega free clinic is Los Angeles County civic engagement on steroids,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Since 2011, Care Harbor volunteers have provided $15 million of free critical healthcare and other services to over 30,000 Los Angeles County residents.”
“There are countless reasons why thousands of people are drawn to clinics like Care Harbor every year,” said L.A. Care Health Plan CEO John Baackes. “Whether they are insured, underinsured or uninsured, it’s important to acknowledge that they are taking action to improve their health – and that we are here to provide the care they need.”
“With the help of our generous community, Care Harbor comes back for a fifth consecutive year offering a full range of health services that is based on the changing healthcare needs of a medically underserved population,” said Don Manelli, president and founder of Care Harbor. “Each year, the Care Harbor clinic adapts to the rapidly changing healthcare landscape to ensure we are providing relevant care to those who need it most.”