by Deborah Daoust -
Courtesy Seattle Center
Seattle/King County Clinic returns to KeyArena at Seattle Center on Oct. 27-30, with an ambitious goal of providing over $3.5 million in free dental, vision, and medical services to people in need. To realize this target, the Clinic seeks health care professionals and general support volunteers to fill a broad range of functions and shifts.
Now in its third year, Seattle/King County Clinic is the largest event of its kind ever undertaken in the state of Washington. Produced in partnership with Group Health, the City of Seattle, Philips Healthcare, Public Health-Seattle & King County, and more than 100 health care organizations, civic agencies, nonprofits, and private businesses, it brings together thousands of volunteers and the organizing and event expertise of Seattle Center to address acute health issues among vulnerable and underserved populations and introduce patients to local resources that can help provide continued care.
The clinic anticipates the need for 1,000 volunteers on each day, and it also seeks volunteers in the days and weeks before and after the four-day event to help in preparation and wrap-up. The number of patients served each clinic day depends on the number of registered volunteers. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and may register at www.seattlecenter.org/volunteers.
Since the inception of Seattle/King County Clinic in 2014, more than 5,300 volunteers have participated, donating collectively 71,000 hours of time. Clinic outcomes speak to the accomplishments of this immense effort in responding to a profound need in our community for accessible and affordable health care. Patients can receive a variety of services ranging from dental fillings and extractions, eye exams, physicals, behavioral health care, and social work to prescription eyeglasses, immunizations, laboratory tests, mammograms, ultrasounds, and x-rays. In its first two years, the Clinic provided $6.1 million in direct services to 7,400 patients who came from 247 unique zip codes and spoke 37 primary languages.
Producing an event on this scale represents the serious dedication of a caring community to address health care issues at the local level, to make a difference for the most vulnerable among us. By meeting immediate health care needs, providing referrals for ongoing care, and raising the visibility of this issue within the broader community, it is hoped that this event will positively impact the health of the region and raise awareness of the scale of those left out of the current health care system.
For more information, visit www.seattlecenter.org or call (206) 684-7200.
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