LOS ANGELES, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Care Harbor — a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that helps uninsured and underserved populations by organizing large-scale free urban health clinics — will host its annual Los Angeles clinic from October 31 to November 3 at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Care Harbor will provide free medical, dental and vision care, as well as follow-up care, to an estimated 1,000 patients each day. The clinic was made possible by a grant from L.A. Care Health Plan, who is also providing resources at the event, Dignity Health, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation and more than 40 organizations and 3,000 volunteers.
"At this year's clinic the three major components of healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act — patients, providers and programs — will be dramatically visible in one unique place and time," said Don Manelli, president and founder of Care Harbor. "The enormity of the need, the surprisingly broad demographic of those without access to care, an able and willing L.A. County healthcare community and the programs to make healthcare reform work will all be up close and personal. This will be healthcare history in the making and we are very grateful to L.A. Care for helping to make it happen."
This year's event coincides with the roll out of Covered California, the state's insurance marketplace program under the Affordable Care Act. Care Harbor/LA 2013 will include a large-scale insurance sign-up in which L.A. Care Health Plan and County agencies will all take part to connect individuals and families with the services that they need and are available to them. Patients can begin enrolling into programs, including Medi-Cal and CalFresh, with qualified counselors on site to help them navigate the process and answer questions.
"In addition to providing immediate medical, vision and dental services and follow-up care, this year Care Harbor is also educating patients about their new health care coverage options under the Affordable Care Act," said L.A. Care Chief Executive Officer Howard A. Kahn. "Ultimately, it is our goal to provide easy access to high quality, affordable healthcare for all of Los Angeles County, and this event will bring thousands of individuals that much closer to the insurance that they so desperately need."
Even after the full implementation of healthcare reform, it is estimated that up to 30 million Americans will remain uninsured. According to a UC Berkley study, there will be up to 4 million uninsured in California by 2019, and 1 million or more in L.A. County — 75 percent or more are legal residents.
"As one of the nation's leading hospital networks, Dignity is proud to be supporting the Care Harbor free clinic," said Marvin O'Quinn, COO of Dignity Health. "Care Harbor is providing care to a population in great need as well as connecting patients to follow-up care and prevention resources."
In 2012, Care Harbor/LA provided free services to 3,758 patients and more than 1,000 of them were connected to medical homes for continuing care, including free surgeries. More than 6,000 medical, 5,000 dental and 3,000 vision services were provided. All patients received preventive care, the most effective and economical form of healthcare. The value of all services provided was approximately $2.1 million in care.
The California Community Foundation and The Eisner Foundation recently honored Don Manelli for his extraordinary philanthropy to the community through his work with Care Harbor clinics. Manelli was recognized on October 9 at the 2013 Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles Awards, an event celebrating the power and impact of philanthropy in Los Angeles. Manelli is also the NBC-LA Life Connected Award honoree.
Care Harbor thanks its partners and supporters including: L.A. Care Health Plan, the presenting sponsor; Dignity Health; Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas; The Tzu Chi Medical Foundation; S. Mark Taper Foundation; UCLA Health Systems and the many others who make this event possible.
"Tzu Chi will celebrate an important milestone during the Care Harbor clinic - our 20th anniversary of bringing healthcare to the needy," said Debra Boudreaux, CEO of Tzu Chi Medical Foundation. "We're proud to be a partner in this event, providing care to the thousands who attend, with the compassion and love that are the hallmark of our charity."
About Care Harbor
Care Harbor brings help and hope to the uninsured and underserved in America's urban centers. The organization works with local community resources and volunteers to produce free clinics providing comprehensive medical, dental, and vision care to individuals and families who are without access to the healthcare they need. There is no cost to the patient for the services provided. Clinics are staffed by professional and general volunteers, and supported by donations – both financial and in-kind – from local and national supporters. Don Manelli, President of Care Harbor, recently received the NBC4 Life Connected Award, which celebrates acts of community goodwill in Southern California. Manelli was also an Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles honoree and one of the California Endowment's Health Happens Heroes. To learn more about CareHarbor and this year's clinic, please visit CareHarbor.org, like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CareHarbor or follow us on Twitter @CareHarbor.
Note to Media: To gain access inside the L.A. Sports Arena on the days of the clinic (Oct. 31 – Nov. 3), please register in advance by filling out the following form: http://bit.ly/1alCnUL
The clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Jackie Aker | 323.202.1053
SOURCE Care Harbor