The Pasco-based Tri-Cities Community Health is taking a page from comedian Jerry Lewis’ book. Leaders are planning a telethon at 7 p.m. Friday to help with the cost of treating the uninsured. The hourlong program airs on KNDU.
The nonprofit TCCH receives federal dollars, but that funding hasn’t kept pace with the growing number of uninsured patients, said Al Cordova, chief executive officer. More people seem to be living on the edge, he said.
“You could have been a white collar manager; you could have been out there making a decent salary. You lose your job — there are very few people who can really afford to pay for commercial insurance out of their pocket,” he said.
TCCH’s doors are open to all, Cordova said. Last year, the organization, which used to be called Community Health Center La Clinica, saw more than 21,000 patients. About 40 percent were uninsured and 47 percent had Medicaid coverage, according to a news release from the group.
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Cordova described his organization as a “safety net for a vulnerable number of people out there.”
TCCH provides a wide range of services, from obstetrics to geriatrics, dental, mental health and pharmacy. Donations are being accepted online at experiencethegive.com, with the fundraising effort culminating in the telethon.
In the news release, patient Crystal Arceo said the doctors at TCCH are conscientious and care about their patients.
“It’s nice to see there are doctors who do care — who take the time to take a second look. ... If you need anything, they’re always there,” she said in the release.