Thanks to the efforts of more than 1,500 volunteers, SC Mission 2011: Midlands, a free health care event held on August 5 and 6 at the Carolina Coliseum, provided dental, medical and eye care services to more than 2,000 individuals. Based on the average cost for each of the services provided, the total amount of care provided over the two days is valued at more than $500,000.
“All the credit goes to the volunteers, many of which were providing services throughout the night in order to serve as many people as humanly possible,” said Vince Ford, Senior Vice President of Palmetto Health Community Services. “We know from the turnout at this event and in our emergency rooms that the need in our community is great, but the number of people that saw a doctor, dentist or eye care professional at the Coliseum on Friday and Saturday with their immediate medical needs addressed is a success.”
Overall, about 1,075 people received medical care including point of care testing and urinalysis.
Volunteer dentists and hygienists performed 925 X-rays, 125 cleanings, 235 extractions and 140 restorations for 500 patients.
Eye care professionals saw 650 people and provided 525 pairs of prescription eye glasses on site.
Almost 700 people walked away with a 30-day supply of the prescriptions they needed, which totaled 1,142 over the entire event.
“This event not only met the health needs of hundreds of people, but it demonstrated that when people in our community come together, we can produce some truly extraordinary results,” said Mac Bennett, United Way of the Midlands President and CEO. “We cannot tackle every issue that people are currently facing, but when we work in collaboration with one another and combine our resources, as we did for this event, we can make a difference for families and individuals in our community.”
Bennett and his team at United Way of the Midlands served as the fiscal agent for the event and also connected attendees at the event with resources for follow-up care in their home counties.
Also, read SCHA's Carmen Goulet's reflection on volunteering, SCHA's Shalama Jackson's post, "Uninsured Persons have Names and Stories," and SC Free Clinic Association's Executive Director Amanda Berrier's "Free health care clinics are a must in South Carolina."