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Uninsured Kershaw County residents offered free medical care Friday

Posted: August 2, 2011 2:27 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Uninsured Kershaw County residents will be able to receive free medical, dental and eye care at the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia on Friday and Saturday as part of SC Mission 2011.

More than 2,500 people are expected to receive a variety of health care services ranging from X-rays, HIV screenings, lab work and dental cleanings. Patients may also be given a month’s supply of prescriptions.

After they receive the care they need, Kershaw County patients will be put in touch with Access Kershaw and follow up appointments will be made. Access Kershaw is an organization that helps those who are uninsured receive medical care from local health professionals.

“They’ll be given an appointment to come in and meet with the Access staff, based on different factors regarding eligibility,” Kelly Warnock, Access Kershaw director, said. “They’ll be connected with the free clinic, Sandhills, or a primary care provider, (based on) needs (and) eligibility.”

According to a 2009 assessment done by the Office of Research and Statistics, more than 13,000 Kershaw County residents are uninsured, so SC Mission 2011 will benefit those who live in the county without medical coverage.

“I would love to overwhelm them so that we can show that there’s a need,” Warnock said.

Those who attend the event will not be required to provide insurance information or proof of income in order to receive the services they need.

“As long as they get in the building they will be seen,” Warnock said.

While medical and vision care will be provided from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, dental care will be provided for 34 hours straight starting Friday at 6 a.m. The ground level of the coliseum will be reserved completely for dental care and 100 dental patients will be seen at a time.

According to Warnock, patients should enter the coliseum from the Greene Street entrance and RTA will be providing transportation on Friday. SC Mission 2011 is sponsored by the United Way of the Midlands and will also be open to residents of Newberry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Fairfield and Richland counties.

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