• Large free clinic offers medical, dental care at Seattle Center

    By: John Knicely , KIRO 7 Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - The largest free health clinic in Washington State has returned to Seattle Center.

    The clinic is offering free medical, vision and dental care at the at the Seattle-King County Clinic at Seattle Center from Thursday, Oct. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 29.

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    People started lining up at midnight Thursday at the Seattle Center's Fisher Pavilion to get tickets for the Seattle/King County Clinic.  

     Tickets are distributed first come, first served.

    “We had quite a few people when we got here at midnight,” Volunteer Michael Chandler said.  “More than we've had in the past couple years.”

    Services offered range from vision screening to flu shots to HIV testing and mammograms.

    This is the fourth year of the clinic, which is staffed by hundreds of volunteers, including doctors and nurses. 

    “Dental is something that's not in a lot of insurance plans, Medicare,” Logistics Director Dave Nicholas said.  “So there's a lot of need here for that.”

    The entire floor of KeyArena is turned into the dental service area with the sound of drilling prevalent.

    “The people providing the service are phenomenal,” Humberto Wilson said.

    Wilson is a Medicare recipient and returned Thursday for a third straight year.  Dental work is what draws him in.

    “The guy worked on my teeth for an hour and a half straight and never moved,” Wilson said.  “And He did $1,500 worth of work I would have never have had done.”

    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 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 at the Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center. Organizers say tickets are in highest demand on Saturday and Sunday.
    • Registration begins at 6:30 a.m.
    • 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 http://seattlecenter.org/patients/
     

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