PANAMA CITY, FL. (WMBB) — A local healthcare company is doing its part to help veterans in advance of Veteran’s Day on Saturday, Nov. 11.
PanCare held its annual stand-up for veterans event on Thursday, giving free medical and dental exams and services.
PanCare has been giving back to the military since the first clinic opened in 2003.
This is the 20th year the healthcare provider has hosted the Stand Up for Veterans event.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday Veterans streamed into PanCare’s 14 panhandle medical and dental clinics for free exams and services.
“We are offering our veterans in the county on the surrounding and the surrounding counties a free service, whether it’s in exam cleaning extraction or filling no charge to them,” said Director of Dental Operations Katie Thorpe.
The wellness exam consisted of eye and ear exams, blood pressure and blood sugar checks, and more. The dental clinics offered free exams, as well as the vet’s choice of a free cleaning, filling, or tooth extraction if necessary.
All they had to do was show their DD-214 documentation to confirm their status as military veterans.
“To be able to give back to people who have just given so much to our community and our country, it means a whole lot to us,” said marketing and Communication Manager Kyle Merritt.
Besides medical care, the veterans had access to free food, a shirt, and a goody bag.
“It is probably our favorite event that we do all year,” Merritt said.
PanCare’s Panama City dental clinic had 130 appointments booked.
They even brought in their mobile dental clinic to handle overflow and walk-ins.
“We’re doing this across our whole service area in all ten counties that we serve,” Merritt said.
Many PanCare staff members are related to the military. One of the dentists is a veteran.
“I always feel honored having served. And I look around the town, there’s a lot going on that reflects that. And to be a service member that is serving the service members, it’s a special thing,” said Dentist Gary Piorkowski.
Dental operations director Katie Thorpe is already inviting veterans back for next year.
All PanCare of Florida dental and health clinics will be closed tomorrow, Nov. 11 in honor of Veteran’s Day.