Thursday, 13 October 2022 14:09

Caffe Lena to host Free Health Clinic for Uninsured Musicians Oct. 23

SARATOGA SPRINGS — On Oct. 23, Saratoga Springs music venue Caffe Lena will offer Musicians’ Health and Wellness Outreach, a free pop-up clinic for uninsured and under-insured musicians from the Capital District and Lower Adirondack region. Volunteer medical professionals will be on site in the venue’s historic performance space to provide testing, evaluation, health and wellness education, as well as assistance obtaining access to ongoing care.

According to recent surveys, 43% of professional musicians in the United States have no health insurance. Among full-time musicians with no other employment, the percentage without insurance is even higher. “I don’t know if these numbers hold true locally, but I know that lack of healthcare is a very big issue for regional artists,” said Jill Burnham, a full-time registered nurse at Malta Medical Emergency Care Center and a blues vocalist with duo Mark & Jill Sing the Blues.

“I knew nurses who would be happy to volunteer their time to do some basic health screenings for musicians. When I started talking about this with Caffe Lena, and connecting with other medical professionals, the idea just grew and grew,” Burnham said.

The pop-up event is receiving funding and staffing from Saratoga Hospital Community Health Center, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, and Caffe Lena. “Taking care of this community is what we do—and we are proud of it,” said Renee Rodriguez-Goodemote, MD, medical director of Saratoga Community Health Center. 

The clinic will include custom-fitted earplugs for onstage hearing protection, blood pressure screening, dietician consultation, HEP-C/HIV screening, insurance navigator consultation, Tai Chi meditative wellness, and kits for those aged 45-64 to self-administer a colorectal cancer screening.

The Musicians’ Health and Wellness Clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Caffe Lena. 

Pre-registration is strongly recommended in order to receive the custom ear plugs, valued at $220, that will be available for free to the first forty registrants thanks to donations from Allerdice Building Supply, the Kate Cashel Fund of the Community Fund of the Great Capital Region and JEM Inc.

Online pre-registration is available by going to Walk-ins are also welcome.

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