Los Angeles arena plays host to free care for thousands of homeless, uninsured patients

Not that heathcare providers--or society at large--needed a reminder that there are vast unserved needs among the among the homeless and uninsured, but they surely got one this week.

About 1,500 people received care this week at the LA sports arena the Forum, where a group of dozens of volunteer clinicians provided free medical service for the week. The numbers were hardly surprising in a county where about 22 percent of working-age adult lack health coverage. Sadly, hundreds of visitor actually had to be turned away.

Patients had not only common ailments, but also common diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma or even recurring cancer, which can't be treated on the spot. Many weren't even uninsured, but instead were coping with deductibles or needed services their carriers refused to cover.

The Remote Area Medical Foundation is a trailer-based service that offers health clinics in rural parts of the U.S., Mexico and South America. This week it brought its health camp to urban Los Angeles to offer an eight-day session it said was the first in a major urban setting.

The mobile clinic has staged 476 medical clinics over the past 25 years, treating almost 380,000 patients and offering care worth about $36.9 million, execs with the group say.

To learn more about this group's mission:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece