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Mega Clinic Returns For A Second Time This Year To Offer Free Medical, Dental And Vision Care To Thousands Of Angelenos

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SOURCE Care Harbor

In the midst of challenges associated with accessible healthcare, Care Harbor is expanding patient capacity and services to provide care for the underserved

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Care Harbor, a nonprofit, volunteer-based charity, today announced the return of its free, massive Los Angeles clinic to The REEF in Downtown Los Angeles on November 17-19, 2017. While uncertainty around the Affordable Care Act continues in the nation's capital, preparations are underway for a second Care Harbor clinic this year to provide medical, dental, vision, and preventive care to thousands of the L.A. community's most vulnerable - people with nowhere to turn for the healthcare they need.

"In this time of significant challenge for healthcare, November will be our most ambitious clinic yet," said Don Manelli, president of Care Harbor. "We are expanding both capacity and services, and launching new initiatives in response to L.A. County's emerging healthcare needs. The November Care Harbor LA clinic will have a capacity of 1,000 to 1,200 patients per day, more than our previous events."

In addition, Care Harbor is planning a pilot program for the homeless, working with local missions, clinics and County agencies. The initiative will include post-clinic engagement and follow-up care, all of which are special challenges for this population. With approximately 58,000 homeless individuals in L.A. County, there's a great need to bring the basic healthcare services to those with no homes and poor access to healthcare.

"Homelessness is not only the defining moral and civic issue facing our region, it is also a health crisis that affects us all," said Los Angeles County Supervisor and Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. "Healthcare plays a critical role in making homeless people and fractured communities whole again."  

The goal of Care Harbor's homeless pilot program is to identify and treat medical issues early so that it can help improve health outcomes for this population.

Other new initiatives at the November clinic in response to emerging healthcare needs:

  • Hepatitis A – Care Harbor has partnered with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to offer Hepatitis A vaccines as a way to address the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A in the County.
  • Diabetes Prevention and Management – More than 40 percent of patients who attended the January 2017 Care Harbor LA clinic were found to be obese or severely obese, placing them at high risk. Care Harbor will record blood glucose and BMI data for all patients, provide interdisciplinary specialty exams, and offer dietary counseling to pre-diabetic, diabetic and at-risk patients.

Along with these new initiatives, Care Harbor will continue to offer a full range of healthcare services, provided by nearly 3,000 volunteers. Patients needing follow-up care will be connected to medical homes in the community, receiving appointments before leaving the venue.

"Most of those who come to Care Harbor are working poor, uninsured or without coverage for needed care," said Manelli. "We work not only to meet their immediate healthcare needs, but also to provide them with the sustainable care that can lead to a healthier life."

To date, Care Harbor has provided care conservatively valued at $15,848,600 based on mean regional costs of care (Medicare reimbursement) – a figure that does not include off-site lab services, follow-up care, or prevention resources offered at the event.

Wristband Distribution
As in past clinics, men, women and children from all stages of life will line up to receive admission wristbands. Wristbands will be distributed beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 11 at Ted Watkins Park Fieldhouse (1335 E. 103rd Street in Los Angeles) and Sunday, November 12 at Los Angeles Trade Technical College (2115 S. Grand Avenue in Los Angeles).  Everyone who plans to attend the clinic needs to have a wristband. First come first served; one wristband per person.

Media interested in covering the wristband distribution on Nov. 11/12 or clinic on Nov. 17-19 must pre-register at: Care Harbor Media Registration.

About Care Harbor
Care Harbor was founded in July of 2010, as a California-based nonprofit charity, with the vision that free health clinic events could be transformed from episodic to sustainable care. Care Harbor is both a destination and a gateway. Uninsured, underinsured and at-risk individuals and families can attend Care Harbor clinics for quality medical, dental and vision care. Equally important, they can receive the resources and assistance programs that can lead to healthier lives and future access to care. Care Harbor's first free clinic event was produced in conjunction with former California First Lady Maria Shriver in October of 2010.


Jackie Aker



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