Heal Elgin Clinic to bring free medical, dental and vision care to the underserved
More than 600 volunteers will come together to provide free dental, vision and medical care, as well as food, clothing and professional services to the underserved population in greater Elgin.
The third annual Heal Elgin Clinic will be held Nov. 13 and 14 at Judson University. Everything is free and no ID is required.
"There are people who are in some way hopeless," said Pastor Jeorge Holmes of Love Elgin, a faith-based community outreach made up of 35 churches, ministries, schools and agencies in the Elgin area. "They don't have solutions or resources when it comes to medical issues or insurance, along with either food or clothing or professional services.
"We're simply trying to bring as much hope as we can physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually."
The event is a collaboration of four local organizations and one national nonprofit. Love Elgin, Heal Elgin, Judson University and the city of Elgin will be joined by Remote Area Medical (RAM), a national provider of pop-up clinics.
"Getting these five very different organizations to come together, people of all kinds of faith or no faith to volunteer to serve the community, this is something amazing," said Pastor Gabriel Bardan of Elgin Adventist Church and one of the event's organizers.
The RAM/Heal Elgin clinic services will be provided at the Lindner Fitness Center at Judson and will include dental X-rays, cleanings, fillings and extractions, eye exams, glaucoma testing, eyeglass prescriptions with eyeglasses made on site the same day, women's health exams, Pap smears, pregnancy tests, mammogram vouchers and general medical exams, including tests for blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, stroke, colorectal cancer.
Lifestyle counseling, foot care, head and neck massages, haircuts and manicures also will be offered, along with COVID-19 and flu vaccines.
Across campus at the Lindner Tower and Herrick Chapel, Love Elgin will provide food, clothing and professional services, including employment and legal help from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
"We have a solid representation of organizations helping individuals meet their immediate needs, but also connect them with longer-term solutions to the challenges they're facing," Holmes said.
The parking lot for the clinic will open at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 13 and tickets will be distributed around 3 a.m. Patients will be seen in the order of their ticket number when clinic doors open at 6 a.m. The process will repeat for Sunday.
The clinics will run from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and 6 a.m. until noon on Sunday. Organizers encourage anyone interested in services to arrive early.
Due to time constraints, patients must choose between dental and vision services, but medical services are offered to every patient in attendance.
This is the first year the event has been held on the Judson campus, allowing organizers to expand the scope of services. Judson has pledged its help for at least the next three years, Bardan said. It's also the first year partnering with RAM.
Dr. Terry Dallas of Heal Elgin said they expect to see about 600 people at the clinic over the weekend, up from 200 in 2019 and 100 in their first year.
She said the core of patients they see come from Elgin and the surrounding suburbs, but the event has also drawn people from Chicago, Iowa and Wisconsin.
"People come and then call family and friends to come from everywhere," she said. "It's such a blessing."