Free medical, dental clinic targets uninsured

Saturday event hosted by more than a dozen churches, nonprofits

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter



If you go

What: Compassion Vancouver, a free medical and dental clinic for uninsured or under-insured Vancouver residents.

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Washington Elementary School, 2908 S St. in Vancouver.

Website: Compassion Vancouver

Past Event

Compassion Vancouver West

  • Saturday, July 23, 2011, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • ,
  • Not available


Vancouver residents who can’t afford medical and dental care will receive a helping hand this weekend.

More than a dozen local churches and nonprofits are coming together Saturday to host Compassion Vancouver, a free medical and dental clinic for uninsured and under-insured residents.

“This is a unique opportunity where the churches in Vancouver are uniting together in a real and practical way to really show the message of God’s compassion and love for the community,” organizer Kevin Hiebert said.

The daylong event includes basic medical exams, cervical cancer screenings, mammograms, dental cleanings and emergency treatment, eye exams and glasses, and chiropractic exams. In addition, the event will feature free haircuts, pet services, bike tune-ups, kids’ activities and lunch.

All services are provided for adults and children on a first-come first-served basis.

Inspiration from Portland

For the last six years, Portland organizations have held Compassion Connect events. Members of Vancouver churches and organizations saw the success of those events and acted on their desire to bring a similar event to Clark County last year, Hiebert said.

“It was a way the church community could work together, realizing in this economic downturn there are people lacking and needing basic medical, dental and vision care,” he said.

In Compassion Vancouver’s inaugural year,130 people received dental care, 88 received medical exams, 45 received physical therapy services, 70 received vision exams and 100 got haircuts, Hiebert said.

This year, organizers are expecting a bigger turnout.

“There’s been more programs that have been cut, in terms of state medical programs, so we realize that’s going to make an impact in the community,” Hiebert said.

As a result of last year’s success, more organizations have jumped on board.

This fall, churches and nonprofits in east Vancouver and Ridgefield will host medical and dental clinics for folks in those communities. Compassion Vancouver East will take place Sept. 24. Compassion Ridgefield is Sept. 10.

“We’re excited how it’s beginning to expand into other areas of the community,” Hiebert said.

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546;;;