Access to healthcare is a basic necessity that’s sometimes taken for granted. Yet, it’s also a luxury for many individuals and families across the United States due to heightened healthcare costs. Even in the Silicon Valley region, where technological advancement abounds, Americans may delay or forgo medical care due to affordability concerns. Barriers like transportation and limited resources often further compound matters.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the need for accessible, holistic, and compassionate healthcare services.
Over the years, Tzu Chi USA’s Northwest Region has provided free, patient-focused medical services to the community that truly make a difference.
Since 1995, the Northwest Region has been serving communities in the city of Ten Thousand Buddha, Ukiah. And it has felt strongly that having a Dental Mobile Clinic is necessary after years of rigorous farming. Time came to 2005. Tzu Chi Northwest Region hosted a love banquet to collect money for the Great Love Dental Mobile Clinic, which got enthusiastic replies right away from caring people in the Bay Area and earned 400,000 US dollars in one night.
After receiving the funds, volunteers from the Northwest region got to work designing a Dental Mobile Clinic that would meet the requirements of the local community. And created a thorough preparedness plan and presented it to the Taiwan Association through the National Headquarters, after researching numerous manufacturers and comparing them all.
Everyone sped up the process of buying medical equipment for the Dental Mobile Clinic after getting the Master’s approval. The first Great Love Dental Mobile Clinic of the Northwest region was delivered at the end of 2007 ,after two years of meticulous consideration of the internal and exterior apparatus of the medical vehicle. The opening event was conducted in April 2008, and the journey of the free clinic started.
The Milpitas Mobile Clinic, established in 2013, also provides regular free medical care for patients who require long-term follow-up treatment or for charitable families in need. The medical services provided by Tzu Chi Northwest Region are not just limited to treatment. Prevention is emphasized through regular health seminars, dental hygiene education, and nutrition consultation services to promote healthy living. The Tzu Chi also established the Kidney Support Group in 2005 to provide correct health information and positive support environments for people who require dialysis to improve their quality of life and live well.
Through its efforts, Tzu Chi Northwest Region is helping to bridge the gap in healthcare access and ensure that all individuals, regardless of income or background, have access to essential medical services.