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Junior League's Care Fair helps Utah's uninsured

The Junior League hosted the states annual Care Fair at the Horizonte Center in Salt Lake City.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Utah’s largest free community health clinic kicked off Friday. The Junior League hosted the states annual Care Fair at the Horizonte Center in Salt Lake City. Every summer for the last 21 years the Junior League has put on the event helping thousands of Utahn’s struggling without insurance or underinsured.

A line out the door, adults, kids, and even babies waited in the rain to be seen for free medical examinations. Among them, Jasmine Hernandez, a mother of three who has been struggling with no insurance for nearly two years after both her and her husband were laid off. She tells ABC 4 Utah "Not having a job, you find a way to provide food and keep a roof over your head but health insurance is very expensive.”

Hernandez says it hasn't been easy. Both her and her husband have worked temporary jobs just trying to make ends meet, but her biggest worry is keeping her kids healthy. "They need these things like vaccines. Especially for school, school is going to start soon and they need these vaccines in order to get into school,” says Hernandez.

Fortunately for Hernandez, Kristen Kraus with the Junior League says, she is able to receive those vaccines for free thanks to a community wide effort. “The Junior League gets donations from the community and we also recruit volunteers to include doctors from various doctors in the community and dentists and translators who help us put on the fair,” says Kraus.

Congressman Jim Matheson who was at the Care First tells ABC 4 Utah the amount of people receiving health screening reflects how important the need is for basic health care. “I think the need for basic preventive services like immunization is something we need more than just this one weekend here. I think that we are moving in the direction where immunization is going to be available to people on a more regular basis, says the Congressman.

Meanwhile for families like Hernandez, the struggle continues, but help from the Junior Leagues Care Fair relieves some of the pressure.

The Care Fair is also taking place tomorrow from 9 to 5 at the Horizonte Instruction and Training Center located at 1234 S. Main Street.

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