A two-day clinic at the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds this week promises free dental, vision and medical care for all.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, attendees can get access to eye exams with prescription and free glasses; dental fillings, cleanings and extractions; general medical services that include screenings for diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid, mental health, and gynecological/women’s health, plus ear, nose and throat screenings with limited exams dermatology exams and evaluations, registration for mammogram screenings, and muscoloskeletal/arthritis symptoms review. The event will also offer massage therapy, chiropractic care, lifestyle counseling and community resources.
Known as the “Love Heals Free Clinic,” the undertaking is eight months in the making and will take place with the help of 430 volunteers, said Clinic Director Liz Thomsen.
All services are free and require no proof of insurance, immigration status, employment, or income. Attendees will be cared for on a first-come, first-serve basis with no appointments.
The clinics are the brainchild of Fred Cornforth, CEO of Boise-based Community Development Inc. Cornforth reportedly had a vision to bring free health care to the uninsured and under-insured after being inspired by his own needs at various points as a child.
“It was remarkable to him that others helped his family when they were in need as he was growing up,” Thomsen said.
The clinics launched in 2017. Originally dubbed the AMEN Clinic, it has been renamed.
Since the launch, an estimated $3.3 million in services have been provided to 7,623 patients with help from 5,504 volunteers, according to the website.
Cornforth is a Walla Walla University alum, which is how Walla Walla became selected as a location for the clinic.
“He is still involved with WWU and wants to continue to collaborate to serve the community,” Thomsen said.