GLENDALE — With healthcare costs and insurance premiums skyrocketing this year, one local service provider is looking to help some parents who can’t afford to pay for medical treatments for their children.
Glendale Healthy Kids on Saturday will host its third annual Kids Health & Fitness Expo in an effort to provide local children with free medical services that their parents normally would not be able to afford, said Camille Levee, the organization’s executive director.
“This is something the community needs,” she said.
While the organization has traditionally matched low-income children who lack insurance with medical, mental, vision and dental-health providers, Levee said it has been helping more parents who have health coverage but who can’t afford the high deductibles and co-pays.
“The need is continuing to grow and the cost of healthcare is also continuing to grow,” she said.
The organization provided more than 2,000 medical packages last year to low-income children, Levee said.
The number of referrals to Glendale Healthy Kids reached 80 last month, which she said was an all-time high for the nonprofit organization.
The organization’s funding primarily comes from private donations. And while that is stable, Levee said the community’s healthcare needs are rising.
During the event on Saturday, the organization will offer food nutrition tips, an obstacle course, meetings with speech pathologists and audiologists, free sports physicals, and medical and dental-care screenings.
Vision Services Plan will also provide free exams to children who provide Social Security card information. They will also supply new eyeglasses for those who can’t afford them, she said.
“We want all kids to be healthy,” Levee said.
Medical Mission Adventures, whose representatives recently returned from a three-week stint in earthquake-ravaged Japan, will furnish its 44-foot mobile medical clinic for the event, said Louie Rosado, the organization’s president and a respiratory therapist at St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
Local physicians and dentists will have access to supplies in the self-sufficient clinic to treat parents, as well as children, at the event.
“Everywhere we go…the need is same,” Rosado said.
What: Glendale Healthy Kids third annual Kids Health & Fitness Expo
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: Edison Pacific Community Center, 501 S. Pacific Ave. in Glendale
Contact: For more details about the event, call Levee at (818) 548-7931.