Clinic offers free health care for those in need

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 15, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake City's Junior League hosted their 20th annual free health care clinic earlier this week.

The clinic, organized by the Junior League, is staffed by University of Utah medical students who help doctors, dentists and other health professionals see 3,000 patients over the course of two days.

"We have a full women's services, children's immunizations, diabetes and cholesterol screening, early intervention for children, orthopedics; everything you can get at the doctor's office you can get here," said Jennifer Clark, president of the Junior League of Salt Lake City.

The clinic offers free health care to any community members who need it, something general practitioner Jared Theurer says is a population that is often overlooked.

"I think a lot of dentists like to go out of country and see the different aspects of dentistry and the jungles and the underserved third world countries and that seems to have a lot of glamour, but sometimes in our own backyard, we need to realize there is a population that needs to be served," said Theurer.

Theurer says the clinic offers an opportunity for those who don't know where to look or how to ask for healthcare to get checked out.

"People just don't know where to go," he said. "For the most part, I think people are afraid to call a private practice like mine and say, 'Hey, I need some help,' and I think if more people reached out, I think they'd see that dentists are willing to donate their time and their efforts."

Utah's Dept. of Health says that last year, more than 20 percent of Utahns between the ages of 18 and 64 don't have health insurance, and that number is rising. The percentage of Utahns without insurance has doubled in the last 20 years.