Surprisingly high turnout on final day of free health clinic

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A free, three-day health clinic in Baton Rouge wrapped up Sunday with an unexpected rise in patients.

According to Councilwoman Donna Collins-Lewis, one of the organizers, they had 1,100 patients for the first two days, but when she arrived at around 5 a.m. Sunday, there were already around 700 people in line.

"We have 80 dental chairs set up, and still it wasn't enough," Collins-Lewis said. "So yeah, we definitely need to get more dentists, more doctors. Just an array of volunteers."

Collins-Lewis says dental procedures were the greatest demand, with many people requiring complex surgeries.

"Most of the people that have attended the clinic, probably over 90% of them were in pain with dental procedures needing to be done, and so they were able to come through the doors and get served," Collins-Lewis said.

Despite the unexpected turnout on the final day, Collins-Lewis says she was happy with the results overall.

The clinic was put together by the city and numerous health organizations. One of the patients was Gloria Cado, who badly needed eyeglasses.

"I'm very near-sighted and it's very hard for me to see close up," Cado said. "Thank god I was able to get em."

Collins-Lewis says the city plans on putting together another clinic within a year.

Clinic sessions were held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with Sunday wrapping up at 3 p.m.

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