Free mass clinic puts emphasis on prevention

Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2011
Amid makeshift exam rooms and rows of dental chairs, the L.A. Sports Arena has been transformed into an enormous health fair. While waiting for treatment, patients watch videos about how to brush their teeth and learn about the amount of sugar in soda. They receive vaccinations and read fliers about healthy eating and exercise. The event, organized by the L.A.-based nonprofit CareNow, will run through Sunday and expects to treat 5,000 patients for high blood pressure, tooth decay and diabetes. President Don Manelli said his goal was to meet the immediate needs of the patients but also to have an "enduring impact" on their health to keep them from returning next year. Much of that, he said, is done through education. "A lot of what we see out here is preventable," Manelli said. In addition to adding counselors and exhibits on prevention, CareNow is also working to connect patients with local providers for follow-up treatment. As patients left, representatives of local clinics took down their contact information.

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