“When we made the decision to put on a free clinic in Eugene within three weeks, we knew it was going to be challenging. But God provided and gave us a venue, willing partners, and brought us an overwhelming abundance of volunteers. We had 11 dentists, 7 hygienists, 3 optometrists, dental assistants, nurses and many non-medical volunteers so that over two, rainy days, we were able to serve 384 patients!” says Danny Kwon of Life and Health Network.
Here’s the breakdown of the folks served: 255 dental patients, 159 vision patients, and 10 medical-only patients. Seventy-seven flu vaccines shots were given. Many patients also received professional photos and massages during the event. The total donated services provided was valued at well over $150,000.
This Life and Health Network clinic, sponsored by Robert Burnette and put on in conjunction with Caring Hands Worldwide and The Daniel Miguel Foundation, was held on two very cold and rainy days, November 23 and 24, at the Lane County Fairgrounds. Contacts were made with local homeless shelters and nearby Native American reservations. Local TV news programs quickly joined in and encouraged anyone who could not afford dental, optical, or medical care to take advantage of this opportunity. And they came, many even stood in the rain while waiting for the clinic to open.
Danny Kwon and Vinh Trinh have led in many free clinics as former directors of AMEN, including three previous ones in Eugene and three Impact Your Health clinics in Portland. Their experience, and the expertise of the folks at Caring Hands Worldwide, made it possible to call a lot of past volunteers to come and fill the 100 volunteer posts on short notice. These volunteers were the heartbeat of the clinic.
“I loved serving these people,” said one of the dentists. “Most of them had not seen a dentist for years. They were eager to have their teeth cleaned and their cavities filled and were so thankful we were helping them.”
“The day before the clinic,” Vinh Trinh remembers, “I received two phone calls that reminded me how much God is in charge of outreach events like this one. The first call was from our lead optometrist, saying that there had been an accident in her family, and she was not going to be able to come. The second call was from a local optometrist asking if by chance we could use his services. God was really quick on filling this need!”
Life and Health Network is hoping to do more free clinics in the future. In the meantime, they are known for their church based group program Diabetes Undone (Rivirtendo la Diabetes in Spanish) and have a lot of free health resources at lifeandhealth.org or at saludesvida.org.