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Published on June 10th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Free Medical Care Available in Columbia at SC Mission 2014 Midlands

Pictured above: Eugene Carter, left, of Columbia, gets his blood pressure taken by clinical volunteer and registered nurse Freda Armstrong during the SC Mission 2012

Two-Day Event Offering Free Medical and Vision Care on August 8th and 9th

West Columbia, S.C. – For the fourth consecutive year, Columbia will be home to a two-day event that will provide free medical and eye care to people in need throughout the Midlands. SC Mission 2014 Midlands will take place on Friday, August 8th and Saturday, August 9th at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds. The event is designed to meet the critical health care needs of people in our community who are uninsured and underserved. The event will also connect these patients to a medical home for ongoing health needs.

The primary services that will be offered are medical and eye care. Medical services will include diagnosis of acute and chronic medical conditions, well women exams including pap smears, and referrals. There will also be diagnostic education for diabetes and high blood pressure, HIV testing, and mammography. Patients can also sign up with Welvista to receive free prescription medication. Eye care includes comprehensive eye care, examinations and glasses.

SC Mission 2014 Midlands event will take place on Friday, August 8th from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, August 9th from 6:00 a.m. to Noon. The event is for adults only, ages 17 and older.

“SC Mission 2014 Midlands continues the tradition started in 2011 of a collaborative effort to meet the health needs of our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Mac Bennett, President and CEO of United Way of the Midlands and SC Mission 2014 Midlands Steering Committee chair. “The number of volunteers is amazing and their contributions are so impressive. All of our partners are honored to be a part of such an impactful event for our community.”

The South Carolina State Fairgrounds parking lot will open for patients at 5:00 a.m. each morning of the event. Patients should enter through Gate 6 on George Rogers Boulevard. No one will be permitted to park in the fairgrounds parking lot overnight.

Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration will close when maximum capacity is reached for the event. Patients should prioritize which of the services they want to receive and should be advised that they may not be able to receive all of the services provided. Each patient will also receive a packet of information about free health services in their county. No documentation or identification is necessary to receive services. Prescriptions will be provided when necessary, but no narcotics will be available on site.

No dental services will be offered at SC Mission 2014 Midlands. However, the South Carolina Dental Association will hold Dental Access Days (DAD) in Rock Hill, South Carolina on the same dates. For more information on the dental services offered, location and hours of operation, www.SCDA.org.

Hundreds of clinicians from hospitals and health care organizations around the Midlands, including doctors, nurses, optometrists and other health care professionals will volunteer their time and talents to take care of patients during SC Mission 2014 Midlands.

Clinical and non-clinical volunteers are needed. Clinicians are needed in a variety of specialties including family medicine, internal medicine, cardiology, emergency medicine and gynecology. The experience is very rewarding and makes a significant impact on our community. To sign up, go to the United Way of the Midlands’ volunteer page at uway.org/volunteer and click on the Eventbrite link. Clinical volunteer registration began May 15. Non-clinical volunteer registration opens July 1.

In past years, SC Mission Midlands has recorded more than 2,700 patient encounters over two days, with more than 1,500 clinical and non-clinical volunteers. Each patient also received education and information about free health services and resources available in their home counties. And, The Benefit Bank set up hundreds of patients with follow-up care and additional services.

There is a critical need for access to health care in South Carolina. According to statistics, more than 17 percent of South Carolinians do not have health insurance. Research shows the inability to afford health care is rated as the most serious problem faced by South Carolina residents.

“Like” our Facebook page, “SC Mission Midlands,” for up-to-date-information about the event

For more information, you can also call our automated telephone line at (803)-296-2900 in the days and weeks leading up to the event.

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