Free Medical Care at LA Mega Clinic
For three days in April, the Los Angeles Convention Center was transformed into a health clinic, dental office, eye care center and even a hair salon for the Your Best Pathway to Health mega clinic. More than 4,200 volunteers, which included in excess of 2,500 medical professionals, assisted 8,500 patients during the free event. Three of Adventist Health’s Southern California Region hospitals opened their doors and operating rooms to provide care that could only be done in a hospital setting.
“Serving the underserved population is life-changing for both the patient and the volunteer,” said Beth Zachary, president and CEO of the Adventist Health Southern California Region. “I am very proud of all our dedicated physicians, employees and volunteers who gave of their time and expertise to help reach our goal of providing free medical services in our surrounding Los Angeles communities. Months of planning, recruiting and coordination paid off as we shared our mission to serve others.”
Adventist Health’s southern California hospitals, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Simi Valley Hospital and White Memorial Medical Center provided nearly 400 volunteers. At WMMC, surgeons and other caregivers performed more than 20 major surgeries ranging from hernias to hysterectomies to a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. GAMC completed more than 10 major surgeries including orthopedic procedures, hand surgery and hernias.
“Our Adventist Health hospitals became instrumental to the success of Your Best Pathway to Health in different levels, including surgeries,” said Esther Ong, a nurse at WMMC. “I became so emotional seeing patients begging me to include them in our surgery schedules—especially those coming from far places like Washington, Arizona and Texas.”
On the second day of the event, the team at WMMC performed a laparoscopy procedure on a woman with a tumor. It had caused ongoing problems, often landing her in the emergency room. The procedure was a success and now the patient will have a healthier future.
In addition to the major surgical procedures, the three hospitals teamed up to provide, 1,500 lipid panels, pathology services, 185 mammograms, 60 colorectal screenings, more than 700 cardiology tests including 2D echocardiograms, 12 Lead EKGs and treadmill tests. The partnership between Adventist Health and Your Best Pathway to Health made it possible to offer these services for the first time.
“Without the dedication and commitment each hospital and their team provided we would have been unable to bring together an event of this magnitude and caliber,” said Paul Crampton, assistant vice president of Mission and Spiritual Care at Adventist Health.
Jon Ferguson, a team lead in IT services for Adventist Health in Roseville, California, and member of the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church, took time off work to drive to Los Angeles and volunteer at the clinic. He has volunteered at every Pathways event since 2014 and summed up his latest experience, “Your Best Pathway to Health makes me look forward to heaven more every day. I saw people I hadn't seen in a while and made more friends. It was great getting to serve with so many kind, caring people in the registration area for the vision care.”
Photo: Kevin Roberts, RN, (second from right, front row) president and CEO of Glendale Adventist Medical Center, led a busload of volunteers.