Wise annual pop-up clinic is canceled till 2021, organizers say
The July event, which offered free vision, medical and dental treatment, shut down over COVID-19 concerns.
Wise County’s free, three-day clinic held annually in July has been canceled, organizers announced Monday.
Previously known as the Wise Remote Area Medical clinic, the Health Wagon’s Move Mountains Medical Mission, offering free vision and medical treatment, was set to take place July 10-12 at the Wise County Fairgrounds, along with the Virginia Dental Association Foundation’s Mission of Mercy dental clinic at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise Convocation Center. The event, which has drawn more than 100,000 patients over two decades, has been canceled due to concerns over holding large public gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Public safety is of the utmost importance, and after planning the event for 20 years, it was a painstaking decision, but everyone’s health and safety were paramount,” said Health Wagon President and CEO Teresa Tyson in a statement. “We will be planning for a 2021 event, knowing how deeply meaningful the event is to the region.”
According to the Health Wagon’s news release, there will be an event later in the year to offer giveaways and community donations, “when it is safe to be in crowds again.” Volunteer health-care workers are encouraged to cancel lodging reservations, and the clinic will save their contact information and will be in touch about the 2021 event, officials said.
The Health Wagon canceled earlier free pop-up clinics in March, following the virus’ outbreak in Virginia, although its brick-and-mortar facilities in Southwest Virginia are still offering services through telehealth programs. Mission of Mercy dental clinics, which are typically offered across the state, are on hold due to the pandemic.