Modesto health fair delivers dose of compassion

kvaline@modbee.comJuly 21, 2013 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate text Kevin Valine
    Title: Reporter
    Coverage areas: City of Modesto and nonprofits
    Bio: Kevin Valine has been a copy editor and reporter at The Bee since January 2006. He's worked at the Reno Gazette-Journal, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and Paradise Post as a reporter and copy editor. He's a graduate of San Jose State.
    Recent stories written by Kevin
    E-mail: kvaline@modbee.com

— More than 100 low-income and uninsured people were treated by doctors, dentists and other providers at no cost Sunday at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation's 12th annual health fair.

As in past years, the foundation partnered with the Maddux Youth Center in west Mo-desto for the event. Serv-ices included pediatrics, acupuncture, prescriptions for low-cost generic drugs and medical exams.

Two dentists and four dental hygienists cleaned teeth, filled cavities and extracted bad teeth.

"I'm very happy I found out about this," said 58-year-old Connie Myers. "I have no insurance and no money. I haven't for 1½ years."

She needed to have her teeth cleaned and a cap reattached to a tooth.

Myers said she hasn't worked in about three years after injuring herself on the job. She said she has exhausted her state disability benefits and is trying to receive disability payments through Social Security.

Myers said she worked for 28 years as a certified nursing assistant at a Butte County hospital until her injury. She moved to Modesto several months ago to stay with family.

About 100 patients had walked through the Maddux Youth Center's doors by noon, and organizers expected an additional 30 patients by the time the health fair ended at 3 p.m. Organizers said the fair typically draws 80 to 150 patients each year.

Individuals and other organizations helped with the health fair.

The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a humanitarian organization whose mission includes providing charity and health care to those in need. Tzu Chi means compassion and relief in Chinese.

It operates service centers throughout California, including one in Modesto. The foundation says it has more than 10 million members in more than 50 countries.

The Modesto Service Center is working with El Concilio, the Latino community-based organization, on its annual health fair at Hanshaw Middle School in south Modesto, which is slated for the first Sunday in October.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or (209) 578-2316.

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