MADISON (WKOW)-- According to the most recent census, nearly 50 million Americans are uninsured. With rising health care costs many families simply can't afford medical or dental care. That's why volunteers have organized a free clinic in Madison.
"About 5:30 we had our first patient line up. 5:30 pm Friday evening," clinic coordinator Felicia Pendleton says.
Twelve hours later that patient and 100 others were bused to 1 of 15 dental clinics in Madison.
"Dental is definitely our most popular service because it is a very hard service to attain when you don't have the insurance for it," Pendleton says.
It's all part of the Touched Twice program, a non-profit group that organizes free clinics twice a year.
"So we're checking blood pressure, temps, respirations, height, weight, blood sugars," Herzing University Nursing Instructor Rita Cordova says.
Dozens of doctors, nurses, chiropractors, and massage therapists gave up their Saturday to see patients. Along with a hundred volunteers they served more than 600 people.
"It definitely shows that there is a need in our community that needs to be filled and that these people are coming here for services because they are obviously not getting them elsewhere," UW-Madison student volunteer William Caldwell says.
The Touched Twice program is much more than dental and medical care. The group has expanded their services over the years to include many other things that community members desperately need.
Financial advisors help people manage their budgets by giving them tips on how to save money and build up their credit score. Volunteers also handed out hot meals, groceries and other household items. Their goal is to help people as many ways as they possibly can.
The clinic wrapped up at 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon. Volunteers are already thinking about holding another clinic later this year. They're hoping to have it the week before kids go back to school this Fall.
MADISON (WKOW)-- With rising health care costs many families simply can't fit medical care into their budget. It's why volunteers started the Touched Twice program which is now hosting their 14th free clinic in Madison.
Volunteers say the first person lined up outside of Calvary Church at 5:30 Friday night. By 2:00 am Saturday morning nearly 40 people were already waiting to get a checkup. The doors didn't open until 5:00 am.
This year more than 100 volunteers and 45 medical professionals helped take care of patients. 15 local dental clinics volunteered their offices for checkups. Several doctors, nurses, chiropractors, and massage therapists also volunteered their time. Organizers say the program continues to grow every year.
"We saw maybe a little bit over a hundred dental patients. Right now at 10:45 am, 45 minutes after the rest of the clinic opened up, we're sitting at about 400 patients we've seen so far," clinic coordinator Felicia Pendleton says.
By the end of the day that number had nearly doubled. Besides medical care, the clinic also offers financial advice, free family portraits, and several other services.
The event is typically held twice a year, but organizers say sometimes they only have enough money hold it once. The program originally started in Louisville Kentucky and has spread to several communities in the Midwest.
Tune in tonight on 27 News at 6:00 and 10:00 for the full story.
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