Two AdventHealth hospitals in the western suburbs will offer a free clinic Oct. 8 for individuals and families who cannot afford health care services. Sponsored by AdventHealth Hinsdale and AdventHealth La Grange, the Mission Clinic will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the gymnasium at Lyons Township High School South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road in Western Springs.
Attendees will not be required to report their legal status or present identification or an insurance card, according to a news release. The clinic will observe COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing protocols will be followed. Parking will be free.
About 70 clinical and non-clinical volunteers from AdventHealth Great Lakes Region will staff the clinic, providing health care services and assisting attendees with registration, navigation and translation needs.
Health care services at the clinic will include primary care, dental exams, eye exams, orthopedics, podiatry, diabetes and nutrition education, laboratory screenings (glucose, urinalysis and pregnancy), pediatric care (including school and sports physicals, but not including immunizations) and free medications (based on an exam at the event).
Attendees also will be able to receive evaluations and referrals for social services, as well as referrals to food pantries, counseling services and social services. Representatives of Access DuPage and Pillars Community Health will be available to help patients find a medical home for ongoing care and to provide specialty referrals and access to affordable medications. BEDS Plus and DuPagePads representatives will offer support with housing needs, and chaplains will be on hand to provide spiritual care.
“The goal of the Mission Clinic is not just to provide care in that moment for community members, but to ensure that they can receive ongoing care and support beyond the clinic itself,” Dr. Bela Nand, AdventHealth chief medical officer and medical director of the clinic, said in the release.
The hospitals sponsor the clinics to advance AdventHealth’s mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ, Nand said.
“Providing free care and services in the community is a direct reflection of our mission,” she said. “The clinics also reflect our emphasis on whole-person care. By providing health care, as well as social services and spiritual care, we are caring for the mind, body and spirit.”
AdventHealth has seen a growing need for the clinics, Nand said.
“More and more people are in need not just of health care but of other resources, too, such as housing, food and medicines,” she said. “We see people of all ages and ethnicities, mostly uninsured or under-insured, and many say they’re choosing between paying for medicine or rent or food. It just shows there’s a widespread need to address the social determinants of health and that’s what we’re trying to do with these clinics.”
Past clinics have had a powerful impact on attendees, as well as volunteers, who report a great sense of fulfillment from helping at the events, according to the release.
“There are so many heartwarming moments to share that make it all worthwhile,” Nand said. “One community member who visited for chronic elbow pain felt relief for the first time after being seen by the physical therapy team.”
Another visitor was scared about affording medicines, but then had a smile as they left the pharmacy team, she said.
“I was honored to do a school physical on a young boy, a Ukrainian refugee,” said Dr. Lisa Fortman, a family medicine physician who volunteered at an earlier Mission Clinic in Glendale Heights in June. “He was scared, but I got him to smile, and I welcomed him to the U.S. It filled my heart with hope. There is love in this world.”
Walk-ins are welcome. To learn more or to register for the event, visit the Events section of the AdventHealth La Grange Facebook page (@AdventHealthLaGrange) or visit AdventHealth.com.