Written by Lily Shao, Pin Hau Chiou
Translated by H.B. Qin
Edited by Ida Eva Zielinska
Under the economic pressure of severe inflation in the United States, many low-income families can’t make ends meet and aren’t receiving timely treatment for their health problems. Tzu Chi USA Northeast Region’s Long Island Branch Office cares for the community and those impacted by the ever-rising cost of living. Thus, aiming to solve people’s medical problems, the Long Island Branch Office held a free clinic on July 17, 2022.
A team of 162 volunteers participated in this annual clinic, including 20 medical volunteers. Thanks to their efforts, 128 patients received treatment. In preparation for the event, medical volunteers in the New York area mobilized so as to offer multiple-department consultations, including ophthalmology, dentistry, and internal medicine, providing comprehensive medical services to patients.
Gales, from New York City’s Queens Borough, has a prosthetic leg that limits his mobility, yet he came for dental care and also got an acupuncture treatment. “It is a very long way, driving from Queens to Long Island; I hope that in the future I can get medical help from Tzu Chi at locations closer to Queens,” he shared, grateful for the free care he received.
Tzu Chi also provided optometry services, benefiting 15 patients this time. They offered one-stop care, from careful diagnosis to frame choice, fitting, and new prescription glasses for those in need. Rodriguez, a senior whose vision was blurry before, got an eye exam and left the clinic seeing the world more clearly thanks to a new pair of prescription glasses. “The volunteers here are very nice. I’m glad I got a new pair of glasses today,” he exclaimed.
The Long Island Branch Office’s annual free clinic was interrupted last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet resumed in 2022 as scheduled and was a complete success. It is just one example of Tzu Chi’s medical mission, offering a variety of outreach and services in the United States. Lack of funds or insurance should not inhibit anyone from getting medical attention. With your love and support, we can help make sure people get the quality care they need.