Organizers of a free mega-health clinic being held in Columbia say that this afternoon they reached the day’s capacity for dental care and eye care. Patients seeking medical care from a physician only, will be permitted for the rest of Friday.
Since 6 a.m. Friday, more than 1,500 have entered Carolina Coliseum in downtown Columbia to receive health services in all three areas—medical, dental and eye care.
“This community-wide effort has clearly demonstrated the tremendous need in our community,” said Vince Ford, Senior Vice President of Palmetto Health Community Services. “The dedicated volunteers who have given of their time and talents today will continue to work long hours to ensure that the greatest number of patients are seen and treated.”
Mission 2010 held in the Upstate was the first statewide health clinic of this scope and served more than 1,200 patients. Because of the economy and more promotion of the event, organizers anticipate about 6,000 will be treated during the two days.
Shalama Jackson of the South Carolina Hospital Association, one of the organizing groups, says they may not be able to treat every person that comes. ” The individuals that we don’t see, we will try and turn them over to the clinics that are going to be a part of this anyway, so that they can make an appointment to go see someone. That’s the only way. We ‘re not going to tell people, ‘No, we can’t see you.’ We’re going to see as many people as possible, stay as long as we can and then pair them up with somewhere so that can go afterward for follow-up, continuing care,” Jackson says.
More than 1,000 clinical and non-clinical volunteers are working this weekend from community providers including Access Health SC, BlueCross BlueShield Foundation, DHEC, Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Lexington Medical Center, Palmetto Health, Providence Hospitals, South Carolina Hospital Association, South Carolina Optometric Physicians Association, United Way of the Midlands, the University of South Carolina, and Welvista.