Two-day event will offer free medical and dental services

The Amen Everett Free Clinic is expected to serve 400 to 500 patients Friday and Sunday.

For patients receiving dental and medical services at the Amen Everett Free Clinic, it won’t matter that the event is a first for this area. They won’t care that the corporate sponsor once had local ties. People in need will line up at Angel of the Winds Arena on Friday and Sunday for free care they might not otherwise get.

“When I look at over 700 people from the area who have volunteered, I see something incredible,” said Fred Cornforth, CEO of Community Development Inc., the clinic’s corporate sponsor. “To volunteer their time, to see that impulse to do good and love others that way, it’s a phenomenal thing.”

With nearly two dozen doctors, some 30 dentists plus vision specialists helping each day, the two-day free clinic is expected to serve 400 to 500 patients daily, said Dr. Kevin Clay, chief of ambulatory medicine at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Clay is medical director of the local Amen Clinic, one of more than a half-dozen such clinics Cornforth’s organization has been involved with. “The majority of people volunteering, the physicians, dentists and vision team, are local,” said Paula Beatty, the clinic’s director here.

The Amen Clinic is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Sunday — but not Saturday — in the arena’s Edward D. Hansen Conference Center and the Community Ice Rink. Along with free dental, vision, and medical care, mental health services will be offered. Beatty said patients are expected to start lining up as early as 5:30 or 6 a.m., and will be issued wristbands.

Community Development, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization that builds affordable apartment housing.

“My parents both lived in Everett, and Everett meant a lot to us over the years,” said Cornforth, 58, who now lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife, Jill.

“I started CDI in 1994 with $4,700,” he said. Since then, he said, the firm has done $900 million in apartment development. His organization’s contribution to the clinic in Everett is about $70,000, he said.

His parents, Charlie and Eleanor Cornforth, lived in Everett about 20 years. He lived at their Rucker Avenue home about a year after finishing college in the 1980s. The family also lived on Whidbey Island for a time.

“My mom worked at Providence Hospital a number of years,” Cornforth said, noting that Providence Health & Services Northwest Washington is an Amen Clinic partner.

Along with CDI and Providence, the clinic is sponsored by the Washington Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, ASI Northwest, United Healthcare Community Plan; Forest Park Seventh-day Adventist Church, Arcora Foundation, North Cascade Seventh-day Adventist Church, Care Partners Living, Molina Healthcare, and Cellnetix Pathology & Laboratories.

Cornforth has helped put on clinics from Anchorage, Alaska, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He lives in Idaho, but it takes a California organization to bring the Amen Clinic to Everett.

Beatty said the California-based Amen organization provides all the equipment. “They run clinics all over the country,” she said. The dental equipment and other needs will be trucked to Everett.

Explaining clinic logistics, Beatty said patients will enter the conference center on Hewitt Avenue to register in the lobby. Second-floor rooms and a ballroom will be used for vision and other services. Dentists will work on the ice rink, which will be covered with boards and plastic.

Medical services will include women’s exams, pediatrics, blood glucose and blood pressure testing, lead testing for kids and much more.

Patients will fill out registration cards just to keep track of them. “We don’t care who they are, they can use any name. We don’t care if they’re from Afghanistan or Athens, Georgia,” Beatty said. “And if they have no insurance, we don’t care.”

For the uninsured, the need is especially critical this year because another event, Project Homeless Connect, apparently won’t happen. On its website, United Way of Snohomish County announced that as of March 1, adequate funding for the summer event, which has happened for a decade, hadn’t been secured and the previous venue wasn’t available.

On Monday, local United Way spokeswoman Allison Matsumoto confirmed that “Project Homeless Connect is not happening this year.” United Way’s website lists the Amen Clinic among other services that are available. United Way is helping put on the third annual Youth & Family Wellness Fair, scheduled for May 5 at Everett’s Evergreen Middle School.

Cornforth has written several books about faith, among them “Knowing: An Agnostic’s Journey on the Way to Spiritual Clarity.” His philanthropy transcends any denomination or faith. “I call it the impulse of love,” Cornforth said.

“And we’re blessed with more than enough volunteers,” Dr. Clay added.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein @heraldnet.com.

Amen Free Clinic

The Amen Everett Free Clinic is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Sunday (not Saturday) in the Edward D. Hansen Conference Center at Angel of the Winds Arena and the Community Ice Rink. Free dental, vision, medical and mental health services will be available. Patients will be served on first-come, first-served basis. Wristbands will be issued, beginning by 6 a.m. each day. The arena is at 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett.

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