AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - For many, available health care is hard to come by.
Community leaders in the Barrio hope to change that for those less fortunate living in the neighborhood, creating a free monthly wellness clinic.
"Not everyone has a doctor, not everyone goes to see a doctor on a regular basis or even a dentist, so these screenings will give them a baseline of where are they today with those needs and where do they need to go next,” said Teresa Kenedy, President of the Barrio Neighborhood Planning Committee.
The screenings, offered to children six months and older and adults, will include things like blood pressure, dental, mental health, HIV and pregnancy testing, adult immunizations and more. In addition, they will offer free diabetes education classes in both English and Spanish, as the neighborhood sees a rise in obesity and diabetes cases.
"Two of the areas we are focusing on are obesity and diabetes because we know in the 2018 community health assessment, that both of those areas have increased since 2014,” said Kenedy, who also says the assessment found an increase in infant mortality rates in the Barrio area, as well.
The first clinic will kick off this Saturday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Regence Health Network at Ross and Osage, a medical and dental group in the Barrio that -- outside of the clinic -- offers a sliding-scale discount based on income for those without insurance and in need of medical care.
"A lot of people in the community don't realize that we offer that, especially with dental, since a lot of people don't have dental insurance, they don't realize that we offer that service and that they can come in and be seen, same-day appointments if necessary,” said Maggie Garcia, a liaison with Regence Health Network.
Kenedy hopes the screenings will help educate the community as they work to better it.
“This allows us to educate, share resources, do some testing, share results and then let them know what resources are available for them,” said Kenedy. "We really just want to serve our students and our children and our older population and let them know that this is available."
If you can’t make the free clinic on Saturday, next month’s screenings will be held at Christian Heritage Church on Jan. 12.