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Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh sets record, reaches patient capacity at free healthcare clinic

KDKA - The Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh free healthcare clinic hosted at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center reached capacity for the annual event.

A total of 1,520 recipients received or were scheduled to receive free care during the two-day clinic, compared to last year's total of 1,465 patients.

Patients who could not be seen due to reaching capacity limits, as well as patients who require follow-up, were being referred to Catholic Charities Free Healthcare Center, Downtown, and other agencies, Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh said in a press release Saturday.

Dr. Daniel Pituch, a UPMC surgeon, co-founded the free event in 2017, which provides folks with dental services like cleanings, fillings, and dentures, as well as eye and hearing exams with free glasses and hearing aids. Adults and children ages two and up are eligible, and insurance isn't required.

"Due to an exceptionally high turnout, including patients who began lining up hours in advance of our doors opening at 6 a.m. this morning, the Mission of Mercy Free Dental, Vision & Hearing Clinic has reached capacity for today and will no longer be admitting additional patients to today's clinic.

"Our team of more than 1,434 volunteers, including 120 dentists, have already provided treatments to hundreds of patients, and the remaining clinic hours today will be used to treat hundreds more who have been admitted, evaluated, and triaged, and are waiting to be seen. We are seeing a tremendous increase in the need for dental, vision and hearing services, and we are truly grateful to all the volunteers who are working tirelessly to care for as many patients as possible," Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh Chairman Keith Young said.

All services were provided on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity was reached for the day. Capacity was determined by the number of professional volunteers present.

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