Pop-up clinic to bring a weekend of free medical care to Anchorage

Later this week, Alaskans can access medical exams, new glasses, vaccines, teeth cleanings and other medical services at Begich Middle School in East Anchorage — all free of charge.

The event, which was held last April as well, is sponsored by the Mountain View Lions Club Foundation with help from a national nonprofit, Remote Area Medical.

It is being run by dozens of doctors, optometrists, pharmacists, dentists and nurses who are volunteering their weekend to provide the care, said Patrick Campaign, an Anchorage optometrist who helped stand up the clinic for the second year in a row.

No health insurance is required to access the services, which will include routine primary care, dental and vision exams, glasses that are made on site for people with a prescription, vaccines, blood and lab work, and mammograms, according to Campaign.

The Anchorage clinic begins at 6 a.m. Saturday, April 20 and at 6 a.m. Sunday, April 21. Campaign said it was difficult to give a time for when the clinic would end each day. “Services will continue effectively until doctors get tired, so we don’t really know how long that will be,” he said.

Last year, the clinic had to turn away several dozen people because they ran out of space. Campaign said he was anticipating patients camping outside the clinic this year — the parking lot opens at midnight Friday night for people wanting to camp to make sure they can see a provider — and that it was possible the clinic would book out for the entire day before the doors even open that morning.

The number of people the clinic is able to serve is limited by the number of health care providers who volunteer their time, he said.


“And unfortunately, with the health care shortage we have right now, there’s a lot of people already working overtime,” he said.

The nonprofit will also offer a similar pop-up clinic in Fairbanks from April 27 to 28 at Ryan Middle School.

Campaign said the demand for care that the free pop-up clinics in Anchorage and Fairbanks saw last year were a sign of how expensive health care costs in Alaska and in the U.S. had become.

“I’ve been hearing from folks who do desperately need care,” he said.

Many of the approximately 500 people who attended the pop-up clinics in Anchorage and Fairbanks last year either did not qualify for any kind of government health care program, or had health insurance but still couldn’t afford medical care, Campaign said.

“There is a lot of people who make between $21,000 — which is the maximum a single person can make to qualify for Medicaid — all the way up to about $120,000 who either can’t qualify or can’t afford their insurance,” which often includes high premiums and high deductibles, he said.

Remote Area Medical was founded in 1985 with the goal of bringing free health care services domestically, and has served over 940,000 patients since its inception.

The clinic is first come, first served, and includes dozens of health care providers.

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If you go

What: Free pop-up Anchorage health clinic

Where: Begich Middle School, 7440 Creekside Center Drive

When: Begins at 6 a.m. Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21, running until services are booked up. Walk-ins only.

Annie Berman

Annie Berman is a reporter covering health care, education and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in San Francisco before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at