Free LA health care clinic continues

CareNow Clinic

Grant Slater/KPCC

Dental assistants performed a cleaning on one of hundreds of patients who attended the first day of the CareNow free clinic.

CareNow Clinic

Grant Slater/KPCC

A group of nurses takes a break outside the Los Angeles Sports Arena during the first day of CareNow's free clinic on Thursday.

CareNow Clinic

Grant Slater/KPCC

An optometrist performs an eye exam on a patient at CareNow's free clinic in the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Thursday.

CareNow Clinic

Grant Slater/KPCC

Several mobile dental studios were set up inside the Los Angeles Sports Arena for the free CareNow clinic.

CareNow Clinic

Grant Slater/KPCC

A woman sits up at the end of a dental operation performed Thursday at the free CareNow clinic in Los Angeles Sports Arena.


For a third day, hundreds of people wearing wristbands are attending a free health care clinic in Exposition Park. TheSouthland non-profit CareNow is sponsoring the medical fair at the Los Angeles Sports Arena through Sunday.

More than a thousand uninsured and underinsured patients showed up on the first day. Organizers predict they’ll see about the same amount of patients on each day of the clinic’s operation.

About 800 doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical personnel are volunteering. They've performed hundreds of vision, medical and dental procedures.

Medical volunteers are referring patients in need of extensive treatment, such as a root canal or a diabetes followup, to local health care centers at little to no cost, organizers say. They're not allowing people who attended the clinic on previous days to return, although some patients came back to volunteer.

A few others who didn’t get treatment on their assigned day also returned to the clinic. Still others without the required wristbands for admission have tried to get into the L.A. Sports Arena. Security turned them away.

Some patients praised the pre-registration system that issued the wristbands. Others said the process could’ve gone more smoothly because they still had to wait hours for treatment. Many said that if not for this free clinic, they probably wouldn’t have gotten the health care they needed.

Those volunteers also include at least one celebrity — Dr. Mehmet Oz from "The Dr. Oz Show."

This story has been updated from its original on air version and includes information from KPCC wire services.

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