SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Caffè Lena, a music venue in downtown Saratoga Springs, is set to hold a free health clinic for uninsured and underinsured musicians on October 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The pop-up clinic is for musicians from the Capital District and Lower Adirondack region.
Caffè Lena said about 43% of professional musicians in the United States have no health insurance. For 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 nurse at Malta Medical Emergency Care Center and a blues vocalist with duo Mark & Jill Sing the Blues.
Volunteer medical professionals will be on-site at the venue to provide testing, evaluation, health and wellness education, as well as help musicians get access to ongoing care. The clinic will include blood pressure screening, dietician consultation, HEP-C/HIV screening, insurance navigator consultation, Tai Chi meditative wellness, and kits to self-administer a colorectal cancer screening.
“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 Caffè Lena, and connecting with other medical professionals, the idea just grew and grew,” said Burnham.
The event is receiving funding and staffing from Saratoga Hospital Community Health Center, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, and Caffè Lena. Pre-registration is strongly recommended in order to receive custom-fitted earplugs for onstage hearing protection that will be available for free to the first 40 registrants.