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Thousands Line Up To Receive Free Medical Care At Mega-Clinic Downtown

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Dozens gathered in downtown Los Angeles for a mega-clinic that offered free medical, dental, and eye care services.

The three-day clinic was put on by Care Harbor, and featured 55 medical examination rooms, 60 dental chairs, and 15 vision lanes.

The clinic started Saturday, and drew thousands.

To date, the mega-clinic has offered medical services valued at more than $18 million over the past nine years.

Organizers told CBS2's Laurie Perez they've seen and helped more than 26,000 people in that time.

Perez also spoke to people happy to have someone looking out for them.

"I need a filling," said mom Star McBaie, "a cleaning, a deep cleaning actually."

Without this free service, McBaie says she would have likely had to go without.

"Even for a [regular] cleaning, they want over $1,000 and the average family can't afford that," McBaie says.

When 7-year-old Ivan McBaie was told he might need braces, he did a double-take.

He shouldn't be too surprised. The clinic literally caters to ever need.

Shots, teeth cleanings, oral surgery, eye exams, dentures, even an EKG -- the clinic offered everything.

Volunteers told Perez why they like showing up to the event.

"To help people in the community that maybe for a long time haven't had any medical care or any at all for their entire lives," says Denise Rivera, a nursing student.

Those helping out hope the free day encourages people to get into a network or gain access to community care they will access the other 364 days of the year.

"Every single patient that has their chart checked off, saying they need a follow-up and how soon they need a follow-up, will have an appointment before they leave this building," says Dr. Natalie Nevins.

The idea is also to spread awareness about the importance of check-ups.

"You're entitled to be healthy, you know, health care is not a privilege," says Donald Manelli, CEO and Founder of Care Harbor.


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