LGBTQ Health Fair Provides Free Services

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COLUMBIA — The Center Project is addressing the need for health care in mid-Missouri's LGBTQ community.

The group partnered with MedZou and Boone County Health Services to provide free health care Saturday. Teams of medical students and physicians saw LGBTQ patients for their mental and physical health concerns.

An organizer said the cost of health care isn't the only issue this community has to face.

"There's places in Columbia where you can get free health care," Tara Marcink, one of The Center Project's board members, said. "The problem is is that they're not LGBT friendly."

Marcink said professionals at the health fair were also able to recommend LGBTQ-friendly doctors to patients who need additional care.

Elizabeth Modde, the co-chair for outreach at MedZou, said MedZou serves uninsured and under-insured patients in Columbia. This year, it's trying to specifically help members of the LGBTQ community as well.

"One of our goals with outreach this year was to expand our services to the community to populations maybe we haven't been working as deeply with," Modde said.

The health fair lasted until 1 p.m. Saturday, but patients were still being seen past then. Both organizers were encouraged by the event's turnout, saying it shows they are making a difference.

Marcink and Modde said they hope to host the event again in the future.