SEATTLE - The largest free health clinic in Washington State is returning to KeyArena at Seattle Center for a fifth year.
The clinic is offering free medical, vision and dental care at the Seattle/King County Clinic from Thursday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 23, a month earlier than previous years.
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In past years, people start lining up at midnight each day it's open to get tickets for the Seattle/King County Clinic.
Tickets are distributed first come, first served.
Services offered range from vision screening to dental care to flu shots to HIV testing and mammograms.
The clinic is staffed by hundreds of volunteers, including doctors and nurses from more than 100 healthcare organizations.
The clinic has a goal of helping 4,000 people over the four-day period and has cared for 11,900 patients and provided $14 million in services in the last four years.
The entire floor of KeyArena is turned into the dental service area with the sound of drilling prevalent.
The suites at KeyArena are turned into medical treatment rooms. They offer mammograms, HIV screening, and chiropractic work. Surgery is just about the only thing not offered. And interpreters in more than a dozen languages are on hand to make sure everyone gets the care they need.
There is also social work resources, help with insurance, behavioral healthcare and more.
Organizers say they serve everyone from those in the homeless community to the working poor to even people who have health insurance but are struggling to make ends meet.
Eligibility is not limited to residents of Seattle and King County. Patients are not even required to provide an ID or proof of immigration status.
Need to know:
- The patient waiting area opens at 12:30 a.m. each day.
- Tickets are distributed starting at 5 a.m. each day in a heated tent on the roof of the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. Organizers say tickets are in highest demand on Saturday and Sunday.
- Doors to KeyArena open at 6:30 a.m. Patients register as they enter.
- You can call 206-684-7200 to see if tickets are still available that day.
There will be a large number of patients and you cannot get both dental and vision care on the same day. Patients can wait in line for an admission ticket on another day for additional services.
Organizers say patients should prepare for a long wait.
For more information, visit www.seattlecenter.org/patients
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