Free health-care weekend planned Aug. 25-26
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Thursday, August 16, 2012
8/16/12 at 5:28 AM
Remote Area Medical Oklahoma will offer free dental, vision and limited general health care this month at an event in Oklahoma City.
Organizers expect people from across the state to drive in for the event.
A similar event was held in July 2010. Volunteers helped more than 1,600 patients, and organizers are expecting a similar turnout this year.
Darleene Hook of Tulsa said she plans to attend the event and hopes that some basic tests can be run to check her overall health.
She is unemployed and doesn't have insurance. She gets some care from free clinics but hasn't been able to get everything she needs, she said.
If she can find reliable transportation to Oklahoma City, she will be able to get some of the care she has been delaying, Hook said.
"It's something that's needed," she said.
Patients will have to choose one area of care. Dental, vision, general and women's services will be available.
If there is time, a person may be able to get back in line for an additional service.
Colleen Kirkpatrick, a dental hygienist in Broken Arrow who is volunteering at the event, said it's important for people to maintain good oral health because a lack of care can contribute to other diseases and cause heart problems.
A cleaning every few years is not enough, but that's all a lot of people get, said Kirkpatrick, who has 35 years of experience.
The event will help those who haven't had access to a dentist to relieve pain and get some basic care, she said.
"I think it's a really good thing what they do," she said.
Dr. Becky Enloe, an optometrist in Jay and also a volunteer, said people often put off dental and vision care when money is tight because it doesn't necessarily present an immediate concern.
An eye exam, however, can also check for signs of glaucoma, diabetes or high blood pressure, she said.
Glasses will be made on site for patients needing them, Enloe said.
"If you're not seeing well, you're not functioning well," she said.
It's particularly important for children to get checked.
Even if they think they can see well, they may be straining their eyes, which is damaging, Enloe said.
Poor eyesight can also cause them to act out in school, she said.
Enloe volunteered at the event two years ago and had a good experience, she said.
"It was really good hearing stories from other doctors helping out and from patients, too," she said.
Free health-care weekend
Sponsor: Remote Area Medical Oklahoma
When: Aug. 25-26 beginning at 6 a.m. Numbers handed out beginning at 3 a.m.
Where: Oklahoma Expo Hall, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, Oklahoma City
For more: 405-410-5411
Original Print Headline: Free health-care weekend slated Aug. 25-26 in OKC
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378