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July 23, 2014
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Nevada County couple seeking to hold free 2-day healthcare clinic

As many as 1,200 local residents struggling with healthcare costs could receive free medical, dental and vision care if plans for a two-day clinic become reality.

Organizers Mindy Oberne and Roger Lewis of Grass Valley hope to offer low-income residents from throughout the area up to $400,000 in healthcare services through the event, targeted for early next year.

The couple, working with Roseville-based nonprofit California CareForce, announced Tuesday that they are seeking volunteers, donations and cash sponsorships.

“California’s low-income families are struggling in today’s economy,” said Pamela Congdon, CareForce president. “Most of them have little access to dental and vision care, even with recent changes in the healthcare system.”

Any medical professionals – including physicians, dentists and eye doctors – who are able and interested in volunteering for the event are urged to contact CareForce, said Oberne.

“Dental care is the greatest need,” said Oberne. “Sometimes, even if you have medical insurance, it doesn’t include dental and vision coverage.”

Support staff volunteers are also needed to set up tables and manage sign-ups. Donations of food for the estimated 350 volunteers are also vital, as are cash sponsorships, said Oberne and Lewis.

The couple, members of Healthcare For All’s Nevada County chapter, said they don’t have confirmation on a local venue yet, but are looking into large event sites.

Oberne said she volunteered at a similar four-day clinic in April in Coachella Valley in Southern California where thousands of people received care.

“We want to be able to serve people (at the event) from everywhere between Yuba City and Marysville,” said Oberne.

Oberne and Lewis said they have been longtime advocates for single-payer healthcare, which is healthcare financed by a single public body from a single fund. However, they said since Covered California and other programs have now been put in place, they are concerned that insurance coverage has become so complex that low-income families are confused and unable to access the healthcare they need.

To volunteer or make a donation, contact Congdon at 916-749-4170, 800-500-1332 or pam@california careforce.org. Donations may be mailed to: California CareForce, 950 Reserve Drive, Suite 120, Roseville, CA 95678. To get more information, see www.CaliforniaCareForce.org.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


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The Union Updated Jul 23, 2014 02:01PM Published Jul 25, 2014 03:22PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.