By ANDREA C. TURNER
The critical work that local non-profit organization Medworks does in Northeast Ohio plays an integral role in linking people in need with high quality medical healthcare–all at no cost to the patient.
Since 2009, Medworks has held more than 100 free health care clinics locally, and provided more than 20,000 individuals with 45,000 healthcare appointments and services. Their large-scale medical, dental, and vision clinics serve those who might otherwise not have access to this essential care, whether they are uninsured, underinsured, or simply can’t afford co-pays and deductibles. No questions asked. Medworks also helps patients enroll in health insurance and get connected into local healthcare systems so they continue to receive the ongoing care needed to lead healthy lives.
Oftentimes, the organization gets confused with a not-for-profit with a similar name, Medwish. Founded in 1993, MedWish International’s mission is different in that it aims to saves lives and the environment by repurposing discarded medical supplies and equipment to provide humanitarian aid to people in need throughout the world, in more than 100 countries.
To distinguish the two, the easiest way to remember Medworks is that their volunteer medical professionals do “hands-on work” to care for patients at Medworks clinics; while Medworks Navigators help patients access ongoing affordable care afterward. All of this is done right here in our local community.
This fall, Medworks offers a free vision clinic on Saturday, October 23, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The clinic takes place at Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute, located at 2022 E. 105th Street, Building I, Cleveland, OH 44106. Appointments are required. Those interested must schedule an appointment online at medworksusa.org or by calling 216-231-5350, ext. 5. Approximately 250 people will receive free vision exams that day.
Did you know that many people have eye disease and vision issues that they may not be aware of? Vision professionals from Cleveland-area hospitals and private practices volunteer their time and expertise at Medworks clinics, and regularly detect serious eye issues that can be treated.
Roughly 11 million Americans older than age 12 need vision correction, but glasses or contacts are just one reason to see an eye doctor. Comprehensive eye exams are essential for the early detection of health issues that can affect your vision, according to Medworks vision lead, Corrie Weitzel, OD, MS, an optometrist at Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute.
The risk for diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration increase with age. The ophthalmologists and optometrists that volunteer at the Medworks clinic can detect eye diseases that could lead to blindness or other complications, but also detect certain underlying health issues even before symptoms develop.
“Even though someone seems okay, sometimes there can be eye diseases that are manifesting themselves before the patient really has time to see them,” explains Weitzel. “Routine eye exams are going to find those kinds of conditions and treat them before vision loss can set in.”
Not only is the vision exam free at the Medworks clinic, but participants can get free prescription glasses (if needed), free flu shots and fresh produce from the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to take home. The Medworks team can also help individuals with insurance enrollment, assistance with follow-up appointments, and provide connections to other community resources.
“I have Medicare, but I have no coverage for vision,” said a recent patient at a Medworks vision clinic. “I met with Medworks’ Navigation Team who assisted me in signing up for a low cost insurance plan that had vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage.”
In November, Medworks plans to offers its free annual dental clinic. To learn more details about these clinics, the life-changing work that Medworks does, or to support their mission, visit medworksusa.org.
Medworks offers free Vision and Dental Clinics for people in need this fall
By ANDREA C. TURNER