By Andrea Carter
California CareForce, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to providing free health, dental, and vision services to residents all over California, will be returning to the Riverside County Fairgrounds for its Coachella Valley Clinic this weekend, April 8-10. Now in its 4th year, the clinic operates through a volunteer-based workforce and is expected to provide care for an anticipated 900 people per day.
“In our first year, we provided much needed services to 2,770 patients, for a total value of services estimated at $1.05 million – all free to patients,” said Pamela Congdon, California CareForce President and Volunteer Coordinator. “It’s so rewarding to see so many receiving the care they need. These patients are so grateful that somebody cares about them. They feel abandoned by the system.”
The healthcare clinic will have 70 dental stations, 20 medical exam rooms and 10 vision lanes. A vision lab will produce free prescription eyeglasses on site while patients wait. Dentistry will include cleanings, fillings and extractions. Medical doctors will provide services ranging from consultation and diagnosis to minor medical procedures. Nurses will staff triage areas and provide medical assistance. Clinic patients will be seen on a first-come-first serve basis, with no income test or eligibility requirement of any kind to receive treatment.
Volunteers are still needed in the following categories: Oral Surgeons • Dentists • Hygienists • Dental Assistants • Dental X-RAY Techs • Ophthalmologists • Optometrist • Opticians • Ophthalmic Techs • Doctors • Nurses • LVN’s/LPN’s • EMT’s • Acupuncturists • Chiropractors. In addition to in-state volunteers, out-of-state medical practitioners with valid, current, and active licenses are also able to participate. To register, go to CaliforniaCareForce.org.
Each day, the clinic starts giving out patient numbers starting at 5am. Only one ticket will be issued per person in line. Starting at 6am patients with numbers will be let into the clinic area. For patients coming to the Riverside County Fairgrounds is at Gate 6 off Dr. Carreon Blvd. No I.D. is required.
American Cab shuttles will provide free transportation from 2 locations in the Coachella Valley: One in Desert Hot Springs and one in Coachella. To learn more about frequency of shuttles and pick-up locations, go to AmericanCab.net/free-clinic-rides. For more information about California CareForce, go to CaliforniaCareForce.org.