Free clinic returns to LA Sports Arena in the fall with new operator

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People line up before dawn for free healthcare service at the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on April 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

The Los Angeles Sports Arena will host another free medical and dental clinic this fall. The nonprofit Remote Area Medical helped organize two previous clinics at the Sports Arena, but this time a new operator will sponsor the event.

The nonprofit group CareNow is putting together the fall clinic, which will run from Oct. 20 to 23. Patients will be able to sign up for free medical, dental and vision care.

Donald Manelli says this time around, there will be more of a focus on follow-up care. Manelli, the president of CareNow, also helped oversee the two previous clinics at the Sports Arena.

In addition to the volunteer doctors and dentists, representatives from local clinics and private practices will be on site. “So as you go through, if your dentist sees something, or the eye exam shows that you have Type 2 diabetes ... you’ll go to a referral desk before you leave the building and you’ll walk out with an appointment at a follow-up provider who will see you and take care of you, " said Manelli.

He said even patients who don't have insurance will receive follow-up care if they need it.

Organizers also plan to use the clinic to train first responders for disaster situations. The clinic's operators are working with L.A. County's disaster preparedness agency.

“The way we’re set up with registration and triage and the way the services are set up, the way the patients move through, the hierarchy of professional command within the event, all those things are pretty parallel to what you would do in a disaster situation,” said Manelli.

As with the previous clinics, the organizers will hand out wristbands in the days before the clinic opens to cut down on the lines. Manelli is looking for volunteer doctors and dentists to help at the event.

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