In 2009 hundreds of women showed up at the clinic and waited in line with their children for hours, with the hope of being seen. This year, Health Connection took appointments, although walk-ins are still welcome. Organizers say it shows how great the need really is. Dr. Richard Gregoire is a physician at the Midtown Health Clinic where the two day event is held. The clinic provides healthcare services to those who cannot afford to pay. He says he is not surprised by the numbers who wait for the women’s event. “The need in the community far exceeds our capacity, especially for preventative care.”
Some of the preventative care offered at Health Connection includes dental screenings and care, mammograms, pap tests, and mental health care.
Sally Jones works for McKay-Dee Hospital and coordinates follow-up care for patients who are diagnosed during Health Connection. She says the two-day event provides a valuable service to not only the women it serves, but also to the entire community. “It keeps these patients out of the emergency rooms and connects them to appropriate health care services.”
Jones says it also provides children with healthy mothers. “If you have a healthy mom and she feels well, and her health care needs are taken care of, her family is healthier. She encourages them to get health care. She takes them to appointments. Healthy moms lead to a more healthy community.”
The clinic is free but organizers say the mission is not just to provide charity care, it’s also to educate. Jones says “the bigger hope is that we educate them to take better care of themselves, to take more responsibility for their own health care, and to make sure they are hooked to a permanent health home.
Many of the patients seen in the next two days will become patients of the Midtown Health Clinic. Those who need specialized follow-up care will be referred to physicians at McKay-Dee hospital who will volunteer their services.
To find out more about the Health Connection visit the Midtown Health Clinic at 2240 Adams Avenue, Ogden.