Health care students from the Georgia State University Perimeter College will be offering free screenings to community members in Clarkston this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Connect to Care event is funded by the Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority for the next three years. There will be two clinics per semester for the course of the partnership.

Attendees receive free health screenings and tests from dental, nursing, kinesiology and audiology students.

Project director Mary Helen O’Connor said the event offers resources for chronic health issues regardless of the attendees insurance status.

“If they don't have any insurance, then we will make a referral and call and connect them to a clinic in town,” O’Connor said. “We have three that will take uninsured patients, and so we'll intentionally follow through with those referrals, the ones who screen for something serious.”

O’Connor says in past years over 200 people have shown up for the event. Clarkston has a large refugee community and other underserved residents who are uninsured due to systemic barriers.

O’Connor said they are working to bridge the gap in health care access.

“We've made the information available in all the most commonly spoken languages, especially the ones for new arrivals,” she said. “You know, we have a huge population from Afghanistan, from the Congo, DRC, and from Burma who are new arrivals that have very limited English. So we're trying to make sure we are culturally responsive and linguistically responsive to their needs.”

The event includes community navigators who will help interpret and follow though for any additional concerns like Medicaid enrollment. The next screening is scheduled for Nov. 11 at the school’s Decatur Campus.

Tags: health  Clarkston  Georgia