Health & Fitness

Clinics to bring free health care to homeless and poor in Turlock

Front entrance at the year-round shelter at the Turlock Gospel Mission in Turlock, Calif., on Friday, July 7, 2017.
Front entrance at the year-round shelter at the Turlock Gospel Mission in Turlock, Calif., on Friday, July 7, 2017.

Mobile health clinics will make two stops in Turlock next week to offer free medical services to the homeless and low-income individuals and families.

Legacy Health Foundation provided grant funds for Castle Family Health Centers in Atwater and the UCSF-Fresno Residency Program to bring services to people with limited access to health care in Stanislaus and Merced counties.

Castle’s mobile health van, along with doctors from the Fresno residency program, will operate the free clinics in Turlock. The services will include primary care, immunizations for children, flu shots and health advice.

Legacy plans to sponsor additional clinics in the coming year to offer a variety of services.

The first clinic is Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Turlock Gospel Mission, 432 S. Broadway Ave. Free health services also will be provided from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday at Westside Ministries, 952 Columbia Ave.

Parents seeking immunizations for their children need to bring vaccination records.

Jeffrey Lewis, chief executive officer of the Legacy endowment, said many residents across the two counties, including the homeless, are not getting regular health care despite efforts to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. People with high-deductible insurance avoid the doctor’s office because they’re faced with paying cash until their coverage kicks in, Lewis said.

Homeless people have unmet medical needs and often resort to hospital emergency departments for care.

“The first clinic will be at the gospel mission to ensure that homeless men and women have access to flu vaccine to keep from getting the flu or anything worse,” Lewis said. “The clinics will help the community understand there are ways to use charitable dollars to help people obtain needed health care.”

Legacy will collaborate with Castle Family Health Centers and UCSF Fresno to run additional clinics within its service territory as often as once a month, Lewis said. A variety of services such as sports physicals or chronic disease education could be provided as clinics are held at different times of the year.

The Legacy Health Endowment, a charitable foundation created in 2014 by the sale of Emanuel Medical Center, promotes wellness within an area including a single zip code in Modesto, the southern part of Stanislaus County and eight communities in Merced County.

More information about Legacy is available by calling 209-250-2312.