Large 4-day health clinic opens at KeyArena

SEATTLE - Hundreds of people lined up at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall and KeyArena Thursday morning to take advantage of a broad range of dental, vision, and other medical services for free.

The Seattle/King County Clinic opened Thursday. It runs through Sunday, October 25.

More than 1,000 volunteers and 100 organizations have teamed up to provide dental and eye exams, prescription glasses, women's care, acupuncture, flu shots, and many other services for patients on a first come, first served basis. About 4,000 people will be served over the 4-day period, organizers said.

Organizers said there are a lot of people in the community who fall through the cracks and don't always have access to the health care services that they may need. Some don't have health insurance, are underinsured, or can't afford to pay their co-pays, they added.

"We will see some homeless people and some people who have suffered some serious setbacks in their life. But we will also see entire families," said John Merner, Director of Seattle Center Productions.

"Last year, the overwhelming response just from the dental perspective was 'I can't believe how grateful the patients were, how they appreciated it and expressed it' and so-forth and so on," said Dr. Jeff Parrish, Dental Co-Director.

The Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, which is located at 301 Mercer Street, serves as the ticket waiting and distribution area for the clinic. It opens each day at 12:30 A.M. Organizers distribute admission tickets for the day beginning at 5 A.M.

Tickets are limited, so patients are strongly encouraged to arrive early.

Doors to KeyArena open each day at 6:30 A.M. Patients are admitted by ticket number into the clinic.

Patients may seek services in up to two areas per day: Medical and either dental or vision, organizers said. They may return to the clinic on other days for additional services.

Click here for more information about the Seattle/King County Clinic.

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