An estimated $25 million in free health services, including surgeries, will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to upwards of 5,000 people in Fort Worth over the next three days.
The event, which runs Wednesday through Friday, will convert the Will Rogers Memorial Center into a no-cost medical and dental mobile hospital. Hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 19 and 20 and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 21.
Uninsured and underinsured residents are welcomed. No insurance or identification is required.
“There is a need. There is a very big need,” said Dr. Lela Lewis, CEO and Founder of “Your Best Pathway to Health,” the event’s organizer, which is a humanitarian service of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
This will be the eighth event of this kind put on by Dr. Lewis and her team of volunteers. Previous clinics have taken place in San Antonio, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Beckley, West Virginia, among others.
According to a news release, free onsite services include “minor surgical procedures under IV sedation, such as small hernia repair, small mass excisions, cystoscopy, hysteroscopy and others.”
Major surgeries “such as hysterectomies, gall bladder removal, larger hernia repairs and others will be performed at Texas Health Huguley Hospital,” according to the news release.
Patients started lining up for the free service on Tuesday morning, the better part of 24 hours prior to the opening of the clinic.
Eric Perez, of Fort Worth, brought his parents to the event because his father, who works part-time and does not have health insurance, was recently informed that he has blood forming behind his eye and a procedure is required to protect his vision.
“[A doctor] did the check up on my dad and he said he could actually lose [his vision,]” Perez said. “It could actually save his eye. They actually told him if you don’t take care of that [you could lose your eye.] I think it [would cost] thousands of dollars for a procedure surgical procedure he has to get done on his eye just so he won’t lose it.”
In addition to surgeries, the services being offered at the clinic include:
- Primary care visits
- Women’s health services, including pap smears and mammography
- Consultation by medical specialists, including heart evaluation, gastroenterology, neurology, pulmonology, rheumatology, infectious disease, general and orthopedic surgery and pediatrics
- Podiatry services
- Root canals
- Dental cleaning
- Eye examinations
- Eyeglass fittings
- Screenings for sexually transmitted diseases
- Medical massage
- Physical therapy
- Laboratory services
- Legal services
- Financial counseling
- A free meal
“The vast majority of the patients are the working class, the working class poor who have insurance but they just can’t afford the deductible and copay. And that is what we see time and time again,” Lewis said. “There is a great need. There really is a health care crisis, and we have a wonderful opportunity of playing a small role to benefit that problem.”
No appointment is necessary, other than for major surgical procedures, which require pre-surgery visits. To schedule surgical procedures, patients can call 423-641-6830.
For general information, residents can call 682-250-0058.