File photo of Western University of Health Sciences delivering health care services to a Care Harbor patient in November 2017.

Care Harbor, a longtime annual free clinic event based in Los Angeles, is coming to Pomona, California for the first time April 27-28, 2019, providing free medical, dental, vision and preventative care to thousands of underserved and underinsured residents in eastern Los Angeles and San Bernardino County communities.

Western University of Health Sciences will play a large role at Care Harbor Fairplex, with hundreds of faculty, staff and students volunteering in medical, vision, dental, pharmacy, podiatry, and — new this year — veterinary medicine services. Fairplex is at 1101 West McKinley Ave., Pomona, CA 91768.

The WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), along with Van Nuys-based WesternU Spay/Neuter East Valley, will join forces with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to provide wellness care services for dogs and cats owned by patients seeking health care at Care Harbor Fairplex. CVM Clinical Assistant Professor Gillian Angliss Glaser, DVM, said several other organizations are supporting CVM with supplies and mobile vehicles.

“Care Harbor provides an invaluable medical lifeline to those without access to health services,” said Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, President of Western University of Health Sciences. “WesternU has been part of Care Harbor efforts from the beginning, and remains committed to serving the many thousands of patients who seek the aid of our skilled clinical faculty and students during this important event.

“The University also salutes Fairplex and all the Care Harbor partners for adding an Inland Empire location for the event, which expands its regional impact and value.”  

Raymond Maeda, OD, WesternU College of Optometry Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs and Director of Vision for Care Harbor, said that with the new eastern location for the event, vision services will be able to make more prescription glasses onsite, allowing patients to go home with glasses on the same day. He expects more than 300 patients per day.

“To me, there is only good (to Care Harbor coming to Pomona) because we are serving a huge group of individuals who don’t have access to care or have challenges to access to care,” Maeda said. “Our goals are to try and serve as many people (as possible) and to expose our students to this type of event so they can see the impact they have, and hopefully they’ll participate in events like this when they graduate.”

In addition to the direct care and prevention resources patients receive, those needing follow-up care will be connected to local medical homes and facilities before leaving the clinic venue. One such home might be WesternU Health – Pomona, a clinical facility on the main WesternU campus, which features eight specialized services open to the public and is dedicated to meeting the medical needs of a growing and diverse population.

“Care Harbor brings help and hope to those who have nowhere to turn for the health care they need,” Care Harbor President and CEO Donald Manelli said. “Our free mega-clinics create the opportunity and setting for thousands of volunteer professionals to come together and deliver integrated, multidisciplinary care to the underserved. Care Harbor is a true grassroots response to the challenge of accessible care for all – the community coming together to help its own.” 

A wristband is needed to get in the clinic. Free wristbands will be distributed at 10 a.m. on April 20 at these locations, first come, first served; one wristband per person:

  • Bloomington Community Health Center Parking Lot

18601 Valley Blvd. Bloomington, Calif. 92316

  • Ontario Senior Center

225 E. B St. Ontario, Calif. 91764

  • Youth and Family Club of Pomona Valley

1420 So. Garey Ave. Pomona, Calif. 91766

  • Washington Park

865 E. Grand Ave. Pomona, Calif. 91766

  • Azusa City Library

729 No. Dalton Ave. Azusa, Calif. 91702

  • San Gabriel Valley Service Center

1441 Santa Anita Ave.So. El Monte, Calif. 91731

  • Health to Hope

2880 Hulen Pl. Riverside, Calif. 92507

Media interested in covering the wristband distribution and/or clinic must pre-register at Care Harbor Media Registration. For assistance arranging interviews with WesternU faculty or students, please contact Rodney Tanaka, Director of Communications, at (909) 469-5402, rtanaka@westernu.edu, or Jeff Malet, Writer/Photographer, at (909) 706-3790, jmalet@westernu.edu.