Basic health screenings are useful in making sure everything is running the way it is supposed to, but when someone is uninsured or underinsured, it can be hard to justify spending the money for a checkup.
Still, those medical, dental and vision screenings can be important if there are issues that should be addressed by a physician, even if those problems are not apparent.
For the 18th year, White County Medical Center will provide free screenings as part of A Day of Caring, which will take place Saturday.
“There’s free medical, dental and eye exams,” said Anna Brumfield, WCMC event specialist. “It’s for people who are underinsured and those in need. We’ll help anyone who needs it. That’s what we’re here for.”
The event started — and still runs — in conjunction with Shots for Tots and Teens, which is in its 21st year. When it became apparent there were needs beyond receiving vaccinations, the event was expanded to include other services.
“I believe it’s important for physicians to be able to provide care to those in need,” WCMC Chief Medical Officer John Henderson, who has served at A Day of Caring for the past five years, said in a press release. “A Day of Caring allows us to help care for those who are underinsured or have no other means of accessing the needed medical attention. I also feel that oftentimes, the doctors benefit more from this event than the patients do, in that we get to use our abilities to help people. My responsibility as a Christian is to help those in need, and I’m thankful to God for those given skills and the opportunity to serve.”
In addition to health exams, participants will have access to immunizations, pap tests, blood-pressure checks and information on social services available locally. Beyond that, items such as school supplies, Bibles, children’s socks and shoes, diapers and groceries will be distributed.
Brumfield said the need in the community is apparent each year. In 2012, approximately 1,600 people came out to utilize the services at A Day of Caring. Last year the numbers were down slightly because of the weather, but 1,400 still showed up.
“For it to be raining and people waiting outside in line, it still shows you what a big need it is,” Brumfield said.
The people receiving aid are not the only impressive crowd, Brumfield said. A crowd of volunteers makes A Day of Caring possible, and it is normal for more than 500 people to volunteer.
“It’s everyone from different areas coming together to help those in need in the community,” she said. “We have people who help prior to the event as well. To see that many people get together just because they want to help neighbors in their own backyard is an amazing thing to be a part of. It’s an amazing mission.”
For those who are not able to volunteer but would like to be involved, WCMC is collecting nonperishable food items, bar soap, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and diapers to stock the A Day of Caring Food Bank. Contact Brumfield at (501) 380-1050 or at email@example.com for more information.
A Day of Caring and Shots for Tots and Teens will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Ganus Athletic Center at Harding University. Children must be present to receive school supplies, socks, shoes, underwear or diapers.
Staff writer Angela Spencer can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or firstname.lastname@example.org.