By: Kristyn Dolinsky and Pathway to Health Communication, courtesy Adventist Review
It was early Christmas morning. The sun had not yet risen. It was brisk; there was a bite in the air, and the streets of downtown Phoenix, Ariz., were empty, except for a line of people, bundled in coats and blankets, and sleeping in tents along one wall of the Phoenix Convention Center. Several held colorful flyers with the words “free medical care” on them. They were waiting for a free three-day mega mobile hospital operated by Your Best Pathway to Health, a humanitarian service of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to open the doors at 7 a.m.
Since 2014, Your Best Pathway to Health has offered free medical and dental services to citizens around the U.S. within a mega clinic environment. The event in Phoenix from Dec. 25-27 was Pathway’s sixth clinic. More than 3,300 volunteers, including health professionals, traveled to Arizona to spend their Christmas holiday serving the residents of the greater Phoenix area. Some drove several days, while others flew nationally and internationally. Services included medical, dental, vision, physical therapy, lifestyle education, financial, legal, child care, haircuts and even surgical specialties.