As the old saying goes, health is wealth. But does this mean that the pleasure of leading a healthy life is only for those who enjoy privilege and financial stability? Anyone who can empathize with the plight of others would answer, “of course not.”

While more Americans than ever now have health insurance, as many as 44.3 million people under the age of 65 are still uninsured, according to the CDC. Many of them fall into the category of “working poor,” those who don’t earn enough to pay for basic treatment. Others are undocumented workers who don’t qualify for government programs, or simply fall through the cracks of a complex system of rules and regulations.

In order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and underserved populations, Tzu Chi Medical Foundation takes direct action through a combination of medical outreach, mobile units and permanent clinics. A mix of volunteer healthcare professionals and dedicated non-professional volunteers work together for long hours to create a welcoming, safe and efficient resource for their patients.

“When it comes to health, it’s universal, everyone deserves to receive the health care they need, and so the Tzu Chi Foundation, they are doing just that.”

–Jorge Perez, Director of Parent and Community Involvement, Modesto City Schools

 


Flying Doctors to the Rescue!

Since 2012, Tzu Chi has collaborated with Flying Doctors, a California-based group that send medical staff wherever they are needed across the country.

 


Tzu Chi provides all the equipment like dental chairs and mobile labs and the Flying Doctors (and dentists) swoop in for big, two- and three-day medical outreach events.

Tzu Chi, in partnership with Flying Doctors and local groups, has made California’s Central Valley a special target for outreach. Over a million farm workers, 80% of them undocumented immigrants, are employed in the area. Earning $5,000-$7,000 per year without benefits, it’s easy to see why they can’t afford a flu shot or take time off to travel to a regular healthcare provider.

“Us migrant workers; we are the ones putting the food on the table. And if people don’t want to believe that, they can just come out and give it a try with us. I think we deserve to be treated with at least an affordable insurance and, above all, I think with fairness.”

–Jorge Ramos, Farmer

Tzu Chi has identified several important treatment areas that can effectively serve a large number of patients during community outreach efforts:


Vision Care

A Clear Improvement


Tzu Chi patients receive free eye exams and vision correction prescriptions, and can choose from several different styles of frames. After a short wait, they are presented with their new free glasses. Being able to see and read clearly is important for workers to perform their jobs, fill out an application to obtain work, to improve their language skills, or to be able to drive safely and read road signs clearly.

 


Flu Shots

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure


When flu spreads, it can result in death in the very young and very old. It also reduces overall economic productivity because people miss work or must care for sick children, and treatment raises overall healthcare costs. It is to everyone’s benefit that we prevent as many people as possible from getting the flu in the first place, and that means an annual flu shot.

 


Acupuncture

Freedom From Pain


Many undocumented and low-wage workers perform repetitive, backbreaking labor. Tzu Chi offers free acupuncture treatment to help relieve their suffering. Some patients have never even heard of acupuncture before coming to a Tzu Chi clinic, but they leave convinced and return for future treatments.

 


Dental Care

Key to Overall Health


One of the most expensive health services in America is dental care. This results in people ignoring problems, living with pain, and worse, not treating dangerous infections. Tzu Chi’s clinics treat and repair dental problems, as well as educate patients on how to maintain proper dental to avoid future problems.

To learn more about Tzu Chi’s Dental Services,
read the Dentists on Wheels story.

 


Good Health is a Family Affair

Education is an important component of healthcare. Often it’s children who hear of the free clinics at their school first and convince their parents to come.


“We worked together to get the fliers out to make sure families got information and they knew about all the wonderful services that Tzu Chi provides.”

- Lisa Solomon, Principal, Lowell Elementary School, Orange County, CA

 


Outreach, Mobile Units and Permanent Clinics

Tzu Chi operates four permanent medical clinics, three in California and one in Hawaii. A fourth California clinic in Fresno is in the planning stages and medical outreach is ongoing and expanding throughout every region of the country.


Tzu Chi's Permanent Clinic Locations

Provide affordable health services to families in need, all year round

Alhambra, CA

Tzu Chi Medical Center
1000 S. Garfield Avenue,
Alhambra, CA 91801

Tel: 626.281.3383 / Fax: 626.281.5303
Hours: Monday – Saturday (8:00 am – 12:00pm and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm)
Services by appointment:
Primary medical care, dental care, acupuncture, women’s health services and children immunizations.

For a full list of services, fees and more information, please go to Tzu Chi Medical Foundation.


 

Wilmington, CA

Tzu Chi Community Clinic
1355 Broad Avenue,
Wilmington, CA 90744

Tel: 310.684.4466 / Fax: 310.684.4460
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (9:00 am – 5:00pm)
Services by appointment:
General dental care and hygiene education ($25 for initial visit / $45 for emergency visit)
Acupuncture ($25 per visit)


 

South El Monte, CA

Tzu Chi Alternative Medicine Clinic
10414 Vacco Street,South El Monte, CA 91733

Tel: 626.636.8706 / Fax: 626.636.8736
Hours: Monday – Saturday (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Services by appointment:
Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and other natural medical treatments. ($35 per visit)

—–

Tzu Chi Community Dental Clinic
10414 Vacco Street,
South El Monte, CA 91733

Tel: 626.636.8708 / Fax: 626.636.8738
Hours: Monday – Saturday (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)
Services by appointment:
General dental care, oral surgery, denture and oral hygiene education. ($25 for initial visit / $45 for emergency visit)


 

Honolulu, HI

Tzu Chi Free Clinic
100 North Beretania Street, Suite 122,
Honolulu, HI 96817

Tel/Fax: 808.550.8608
Hours: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Medical clinic: Monday – Friday
Dental clinic: Wednesdays and Friday

Services by appointment:
Primary medical care, dental care, obstetrics and gynecology and diagnostic radiology test.

You can qualify for the clinic’s free services if you:

  • have no medical insurance
  • have low family income

Please bring one of the following documents to you appointment (not for dental patients):

  • the previous year’s tax return
  • pay stub
  • proof of your social security income
  • food stamp

 

There are still many more people in need of care in this country.
Won’t you help us build our new clinic and reach more communities?


Share