Frequently Asked Questions 2022
Responses to questions that are commonly asked by patients, volunteers and the general public about Seattle/King County Clinic.
1. When and where will the next Clinic take place?
The Clinic will take place Thursday, October 20 through Sunday, October 23, 2022, at Seattle Center. The Clinic will only offer vision care (eye exams and prescription eyeglasses). No medical or dental services will be available.
2. What is Seattle/King County Clinic and who is behind it?
The Clinic is a 4-day, volunteer-driven healthcare event at Seattle Center. It provides free healthcare to people in need. It is a community endeavor led by Seattle Center and produced in collaboration with many partner organizations.
3. Who is eligible to receive services? Is it limited to residents of Seattle and King County?
No, it is not limited to residents of Seattle and King County. All are welcome. The Clinic is targeted at people who struggle to access or afford care. The only requirement to receive service is that a person waits their turn in line to get a free admission ticket at the beginning of each Clinic day.
4. I’m interested in volunteering. How do I sign up?
Please sign up on our volunteer roster. Go to seattlecenter.org/volunteers and find the blue CLICK TO SIGN UP / IN button. If there are no clinic events currently listed (open for registration) for you to select, complete all information on the form except the EVENT section, then SAVE AND SUBMIT the form to be added to the roster. We will send notifications to people on the roster when registration opens, and you can select your desired event(s), day(s), and assignment(s).
5. Who pays for the Clinic?
Seattle Center and its non-profit fiscal agent, Seattle Center Foundation, work year-round to raise the money and resources needed to produce the Clinic.
6. Are any of the services billed to insurance, by the healthcare practitioners or the Clinic?
No. All healthcare practitioners at the Clinic are volunteers, and they provide their services without compensation.
7. How can I make a donation?
Thank you for considering a donation – any amount helps! Donations can be made by clicking the yellow DONATE button in the upper right-hand corner of the page.
8. I have equipment and supplies that I would like to donate. How can I do that?
Please email SKCClinic@seattlecenter.org and tell us what you have available, in what quantity and in what condition so we can evaluate whether it is something that we can use at the Clinic.
9. I was a patient in previous years. How do I get a copy of my healthcare records?
Visit seattlecenter.org/patient-records to download the request form. Complete and submit the form per the instructions provided.
10. I have a current healthcare need. Do you know of other places that can help?
Yes, please go to seattlecenter.org/patients to find lists of other healthcare resources by county in Washington State.
11. Where can I learn more about the Clinic?
12. What health safety measures is the Clinic taking to help protect against COVID-19?
Since the first Clinic in 2014, we have worked with a specialist who is certified in infection control and epidemiology to help ensure we take appropriate health safety measures throughout our operations. To help protect against COVID-19 these are just some of the measures we are taking.
- All participants (volunteers, patients, guests, staff) will be required to wear masks.
- All participants will undergo a health screening each day.
- Volunteers and staff must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the Clinic.
- Surfaces and equipment will be sanitized after use.
- All Clinic facilities meet or exceed CDC/ASHRAE standards for ventilation and use MERV 13 filters.
1. I’m interested in volunteering. How do I sign up?
To be added to our volunteer roster, go to seattlecenter.org/volunteers and find the blue CLICK TO SIGN UP / IN button. If there are no clinic events currently listed for you to select, complete all information on the form except the EVENT section, then click SAVE AND SUBMIT at the end of the form. We will send notifications to people on the roster when event registration opens, and you can select your desired day(s) and assignment(s).
2. Will I need to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19?
Yes, we require that all volunteers are vaccinated with at least the initial COVID-19 series and that they show proof of vaccination upon arrival. Masks are also required during the Clinic. Volunteers are asked to cancel participation if you are experiencing symptoms of illness including COVID-19.
3. I volunteered in a previous year. Do I need to register again?
Yes and no. If you previously signed up online through seattlecenter.org/volunteers then you do not need to complete the entire online registration form again. However, you will need to login, confirm your information is still correct and select which event(s), day(s) and assignment(s) you want this year.
To select your event(s), day(s) and assignment(s), click the blue CLICK TO SIGN UP / IN button. Once you’ve been redirected to the registration page, click the red RECALL MY INFORMATION button at the top to login with your username and password. You will be taken to a dashboard where you can click to UPDATE your personal information, REGISTER for a specific event, EDIT an existing event registration, or CANCEL your event participation entirely.
4. I followed the instructions on the registration page to login and retrieve my information, but it’s not working. What do I do?
Please DO NOT fill out and submit a completely new registration. Instead, please contact SKCClinic@seattlecenter.org or 206-615-1835 for help. We can tell you your username and reset your password.
5. I signed up to volunteer, but I never heard back from anyone.
If your online registration was saved and submitted (very end of the registration page) you should have received both an onscreen and an email confirmation (and a text confirmation if you signed up for that option) immediately following your submission. Please be sure to check your spam/junk folder and add SKCClinic@seattlecenter.org to your safe senders list. If you still can’t find it, please contact SKCClinic@seattlecenter.org or call 206-615-1835.
6. What is the length of a day/shift for volunteers? What time do I have to arrive?
It will vary by assignment, but for some assignments the day is not broken into shifts because it impacts efficiency and reduces the numbers of patients that can be served. The full length of a shift (check-in time – end time) is shown next to each assignment in the online registration system.
The 2022 Clinic will begin distributing admission tickets at 6:00 AM. Patients are admitted to register at 7:30 AM and the Clinic generally lasts until 6 PM. Volunteers are also needed to help with set-up and take-down in the days before and after the Clinic.
7. Can I volunteer for more than one shift in a day?
Yes. The registration system, however, does not allow you to select more than one shift in a day. Instead, just sign up for the first shift that you can attend and then plan to stay on for the second shift of the same assignment. We’re always glad to accommodate volunteers who want to continue working.
8. I want to view, change, or cancel my registration. How do I do this?
Go to seattlecenter.org/volunteers and find the blue CLICK TO SIGN UP / IN button; this takes you back to the registration page. Follow the instructions for RETURNING PARTICIPANTS at the top of the page.
Click the red RECALL MY INFORMATION button at the top of the page to log in with your username and password. You will be taken to a dashboard where you can click to UPDATE your personal information, REGISTER for a specific event, EDIT an existing event registration, or CANCEL your event participation entirely.
Be sure to click SAVE AND SUBMIT at the end of the registration form. If you are having problems, please email SKCClinic@seattlecenter.org or call 206-615-1835.
9. What is the wait list in volunteer registration?
When reviewing the list of assignments, if you see the term “Waiting List” next to an assignment name that means it is currently full. In this case you have 3 options:
- Choose a different assignment.
- Choose that assignment and be put on a wait list. If you are only on the wait list, you are not scheduled to participate unless an opening occurs.
- Choose that assignment and be put on a wait list and then select an alternate assignment. In this case you are scheduled for the alternate assignment unless an opening occurs for your wait-listed assignment. If you choose to be on the wait list, we highly recommend you select an alternate assignment so you can still participate.
If an opening becomes available in your wait list assignment and you are moved into it, you will receive an email notice of this change and any alternate assignment will be canceled.
10. I am not a licensed healthcare professional. Can I volunteer?
Yes! We need more than 50 General Support volunteers each day of the Clinic to help with patient registration, escorting patients, managing lines and waiting areas, providing interpretation, distributing snacks, etc. Don’t forget the set-up and take-down needs in the days before and after the Clinic.
11. I am licensed in a state other than Washington. Can I still volunteer?
Yes, U.S. licensed healthcare practitioners from out-of-state can volunteer for up to 30 days per year at free health clinics or events. Volunteers must read and complete this Washington State Department of Health online attestation form no less than 10 working days before the event: https://fortress.wa.gov/doh/opinio/s?s=VOLATT
12. I’m studying to be a healthcare professional, but I’m still in school. Can I volunteer?
Yes, we welcome student participation, however student spaces are limited, and students may be restricted in their involvement in patient care. The criteria for student participation also vary by discipline. You’ll find more details on the volunteer registration site accessed through seattlecenter.org/volunteers.
Students who do not meet the stated requirements, or if student assignments are full, are encouraged to participate as General Support volunteers so they can still experience and contribute to the Clinic. Students fluent in other languages are also needed as interpreters.
13. Can I volunteer with a group of friends or colleagues?
Yes, many groups or offices volunteer on the same day. Each person must register individually. Where you are scheduled to work may differ according to the assignment you are filling, but there will be opportunities for you to interact with your friends and colleagues during the day. List your organization/employer in the registration system so we know you’re there together.
We welcome having healthcare professionals work with your regular team. You each need to register individually, but you can indicate if you plan to work directly with someone from your office. Also list your organization/employer in the registration system so we know what team you’re with.
14. I’m a staff member of a partner organization. Do I still need to sign up?
Yes. Regardless of compensation status from your organization, you are still considered a volunteer by the Clinic and will need to complete the same registration process as other volunteers.
15. I can’t make it to all four days of the Clinic, can I still volunteer?
Yes. We ask that you volunteer for at least a complete shift on one day—additional days are optional, but keep in mind that we need a lot of volunteers! Please encourage friends and colleagues to participate too. Don’t forget the set-up and take-down needs in the days and weeks before and after the Clinic.
16. Can my child come and/or volunteer with me?
For legal reasons, all volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. If your child meets this age limit and wants to come with you, they must register as a full-fledged volunteer. Depending on circumstances we may be able to place you in related assignments, but we cannot make any guarantees that you will be able to work together.
17. What is a General Support volunteer? What will I be doing if this is my role?
General Support volunteers are instrumental in the operation of the Clinic. You may select assignments such as patient registration, patient escort, waiting area monitor, volunteer check-in, paperwork processing, supply restocking, etc. We also have a pool of volunteers called General Support – As Assigned who we place in assignments where people are most needed. Clinic organizers may do this in advance of the Clinic or on the event day itself.
We also need help during set-up and take-down in the days before and after the Clinic. Special skills and/or ability to lift heavy objects are not required. You might help sort and inventory supplies, assemble kits, lay out instruments, put up signs, etc.
If you are a healthcare professional who is unable to work in a clinical capacity, or if assignments in your field are full, you are more than welcome to volunteer in a General Support capacity. Your healthcare expertise often proves useful even in these assignments.
18. What is involved in the early morning assignments?
Early morning volunteers are the first people that patients encounter and as such they set the stage for a positive Clinic experience. In 2022, beginning at 6:00 AM, Fisher Pavilion will open for patients to take shelter and get tickets. If you are a General Support volunteer you will be answering patient questions, providing information about what patients will experience during the Clinic, giving directions, monitoring the waiting area, distributing snacks and water, etc.
Seattle Center staff and security are on site to manage the early morning operation overall.
19. Where can I learn more about the different volunteer assignments?
Find more information about assignments at seattlecenter.org/skcclinic/assignments.
20. I’m a healthcare professional, so why do I also see General Support assignments listed in the volunteer registration?
We make General Support (G) assignments open to any volunteer. Sometimes assignments for healthcare professionals may be full, or we don’t need your profession this year, or maybe you prefer not to work in a clinical capacity but would still like to participate in the Clinic. In other cases, such as set-up, since we’re not treating patients on those days, your profession isn’t needed. However, your capable hands and even healthcare expertise are still very useful in a General Support capacity.
21. Do I need professional liability (malpractice) insurance for this event?
It is up to each individual practitioner to ensure they have, or that they secure, malpractice insurance that covers their work in the Clinic. If your malpractice insurance is provided by your employer, in some cases it won’t cover you outside of your place of employment. It is your responsibility to confirm if it does.
If your current malpractice insurance doesn’t cover you in this setting, or you are at all in doubt, many U.S. licensed healthcare professionals can apply for free malpractice insurance, paid for by the Department of Health, through the Volunteer and Retired Provider Program. Seattle/King County Clinic is an approved site. Details at wahealthcareaccessalliance.org/vrp-program.
Patients will sign a liability waiver that helps to protect all volunteers but does not alleviate the need for malpractice insurance. This Clinic is an approved mission of the Public Health and Medical Reserve Corps, and members who volunteer will be covered under that program.
22. I’m a healthcare professional. If I volunteer at the Clinic, do I have to provide patient follow-up care?
No, you are not obligated to provide follow-up care. Any Washington State provider who is willing to take clinic referrals (free or sliding-scale), whether or not they volunteer at the Clinic, should contact SKCClinic@seattlecenter.org.
23. Can I volunteer as an interpreter, even if I’m not trained or medically certified?
Yes! Interpreters do not need to be trained or medically certified, just fluent in speaking the language. Interpreters are needed to help patients register, navigate throughout the building, and understand the overall process. The top languages needed for interpretation are Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Amharic and ASL. We use AMN Healthcare for remote video and phone interpretation for healthcare-related conversations. Interpreters should not register as volunteers on the same date they accompany a friend or family member as a patient.
24. If I volunteer, can I also attend the Clinic as a patient?
Yes, but not on the same day. If you choose to come on a different day, you must pursue the same process as any other patient by waiting in line to get a ticket, etc. Please be sure you are not wearing your volunteer t-shirt, badge or any other items that make you look like a volunteer. Volunteers will not be given admission tickets, registration paperwork or any services dedicated for patients.
25. If I volunteer, will I need to bring my own food?
No, all volunteers at the Clinic will be fed meals and snacks. If you have special dietary needs, you may choose to bring your own food as we may not be able to meet those needs.
26. Is lodging available?
Yes, we will arrange for group rates at nearby hotels. We will also track people who have, or are looking for, room-sharing options. The most up-to-date information is available at seattlecenter.org/volunteers.
27. Will there be security?
Yes, there will be both police and campus security onsite. Still, we ask that volunteers leave valuables at home. Only bring with you what is absolutely necessary, always maintain important items on your person for safekeeping. The parking garage is monitored, but to help prevent break-ins please keep items out of sight. We are not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged possessions.
28. What else can I expect as a volunteer?
Past volunteers have declared this experience to be fun and rewarding, and we hope you’ll agree!
Volunteers will receive an email with a link to orientation and reference materials a few weeks prior to your participation. This will address everything from how to get here, area hotels with group rates, the location for free volunteer parking, when and where to check in, what to bring, as well as information specific to your volunteer assignment. Please be sure to read through these materials even if you volunteered last year as information may have changed. We want you to be fully informed about what to expect before arriving.
Short onsite orientations will be given by area leadership at the start of each day. Late cancellations and no-shows impact the number of patients we are able to serve. If you discover you are unable to participate, please be sure to cancel your registration online or contact us as soon as possible so we can find someone else to fill your assignment.
1. Can I be seen at the Clinic? How do I get admitted?
All are welcome. The only requirement for seeking care at the Clinic is waiting your turn in line at the start of each day to get a free admission ticket. Ticket quantities are limited.
2. Is there any cost?
No, all onsite Clinic services are free.
3. Do I need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the Clinic?
No, however we do ask that everyone in the facility wear a face mask and do not attend if you are sick or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
4. Will my income, insurance, housing, or immigration status disqualify me from receiving care?
No. All patients regardless of income, insurance, housing, or United States citizenship status are eligible to receive care on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients will not be asked for documentation of any type when being admitted to the Clinic.
5. Are healthcare providers and volunteers LGBTQIA+ competent and welcoming?
The Clinic welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community. Our core principles include that all people (patients, volunteers, guests, and staff) are treated with compassion and respect. We do our best to reinforce this in orientation materials and onsite training and are pleased by the positive feedback we have received from patients about how they were treated. We also encourage volunteers to learn about populations unfamiliar to them by reading informational materials we provide. Many healthcare providers indicate on their registration that they are LGBTQIA+ competent; however, with such a large number of volunteers, we cannot be certain that all volunteers have that competency.
6. What time do I need to get in line?
The line will be located inside Fisher Pavilion on the Seattle Center campus (corner of 2nd Ave North and Thomas Street). Fisher Pavilion will open each day at 6:00 AM for admission ticket distribution in line order (only one ticket per person). Tickets are limited to how many patients we can see that day. We will admit people in numerical order into the Clinic starting at 7:30 AM. It may take several hours to get everyone with a ticket admitted into the Clinic.
Fisher Pavilion will not open early for shelter or lining up. Please do not arrive before 6:00 AM each day.
7. Will there be chairs when I’m in line?
Yes, chairs are available, and the line is inside Fisher Pavilion.
8. Is Fisher Pavilion safe?
Yes, there will be security personnel patrolling Fisher Pavilion and its perimeter. It is well lit, heated and includes bathrooms.
9. I’m disabled/elderly, and I can’t get in line that early.
We know it is difficult for many people in all types of circumstances to get in line early in the morning, but we only have the one admission process. You may send someone to stand in line for you to get a ticket (but they will only be able to get one ticket, not one for you and one for themselves), but you must be present and be in possession of that ticket when the ticket number is called to be admitted to the Clinic. We have no way of estimating when the number will be called; it may take 4 hours to call all the numbers and admit people into the building. Your arrangement with this person is your responsibility, so be sure that you have a good way of communicating with them. The volunteers at the Clinic will not be able to track this person down or hold a place for you.
10. What can I expect after I get a ticket? How will the day progress?
- Once you have your ticket, you can wait in Fisher Pavilion until it’s close to the time for your admission to the Clinic, or you may leave the area and come back.
- Beginning at 7:00 AM, numbers will be called in groups in Fisher Pavilion and you will be escorted to the Clinic. You cannot enter until your number is called, and it may take 3 or 4 hours for all numbers to be called.
- First, will meet with a patient registration volunteer who will collect the information we need to create your patient record.
- Clinic staff will give you paperwork for the care you will receive.
- Volunteers will take you from place to place in the Clinic, answer your questions, and provide interpretation, as needed.
- At the start (triage), you will meet with an eye care professional. That person will talk with you about the reason for your visit today and about your medical history. Your blood pressure may be taken. This is for your safety.
- For each step of the process, you will get in line. Healthcare providers will see you on a first-come, first-served basis (not based on your original admission ticket number).
- You must check in with Clinic volunteers at each step (look for the volunteers in blue T-shirts with clipboards). They will add you to the waiting list and will show you to a seating area where you can wait your turn.
- Before leaving the Clinic, stop at the Checkout Station to turn in your healthcare record.
- Patients will be able to return on a specified date to pick up their prescription eyeglasses or have their prescription eyeglasses mailed to them.
- You can speak with Social Workers to learn about local services and resources. You can also speak with professionals to understand your health insurance options.
11. What happens if my ticket number is called and I’m not there?
If it’s within one hour of when your ticket number was originally called, you will still be admitted. If it’s more than one hour since your ticket number was called, you may not be admitted.
12. Will I still get service if I get one of the last tickets for the day?
It depends. If you have one of the last tickets and the process is moving more slowly than anticipated, there is a chance we might not be able to complete your service that day. If you have a ticket and we can’t treat you that day, you will be scheduled to return on another day for service.
13. What if I don’t get a ticket?
Unfortunately, the number of patients we can admit is limited and every person in line may not get a ticket. You can come back the next day to try again.
14. What services will be provided?
In 2022, the Clinic will offer vision care only (eye exams and prescription eyeglasses). No medical or dental services will be available.
- VISION: Vision screenings, complete eye exams, reading glasses and prescription eyeglasses. Bring a current eyeglass prescription (no older than one year) to skip the exam and just get the eyeglasses. Patients will be able to return on a specified date to pick up their prescription eyeglasses or have their prescription eyeglasses mailed to them.
- RESOURCES: Social Work, help with health insurance, and more
Any patient under age 18 must have a parent or legal guardian with them during registration and services. Exceptions may be made under the Mature Minors Doctrine for youth ages 13 and above who are not in contact with a parent or legal guardian.
15. What services will NOT be provided?
- VISION: Contact lenses, sunglasses
- Narcotics or narcotic prescriptions
16. Will prescriptions for medications be issued?
A licensed healthcare provider may issue a prescription if a patient’s condition warrants it. Most likely these are for immediate needs, not long-term treatment. Prescriptions for medical marijuana or narcotics will not be issued. Medications are not dispensed onsite. No narcotics are onsite.
17. Does the Clinic offer pediatric services?
Yes, we do treat children, but we cannot guarantee they’ll be seen by a pediatric specialist.
18. What if I need follow-up care after my visit to the Clinic? Does the Clinic provide referrals?
If a provider from the Clinic recommends that you seek follow-up care for a specific treatment or service, social workers and other resource professionals will help to you to identify places you can go for care. It is your responsibility to schedule any follow-up appointments. Also, the Clinic is not responsible for any fees or issues related to care that you seek outside of the Clinic.
19. Can I bring my pet?
For health and sanitation reasons, only legal service animals will be allowed in the Clinic.
20. Will I be fed while waiting for care?
No. Please come prepared with food, water, and any medications you need to take during the day. Once you are admitted to the Clinic, you will be able to leave and re-enter throughout the day if you need to get food or medications, but If you are in line for service and you leave your place for a long time, you will lose your place in line and will need to go to the end of the line when you return. If you have a companion with you, it is suggested that if possible, they leave to pick up food or other items you may need so that you can keep your place in line.
21. What should I bring to the Clinic?
Be prepared for a long day. Your comfort is your responsibility. We suggest you bring plenty of food and water, any medications you require, warm and comfortable clothing, and some kind of entertainment (books, magazines, etc.). You do not need ID or proof of immigration status for the Clinic. No illegal drugs, alcohol or weapons are allowed onsite.
22. Will I be able to come and go from the Clinic throughout the day?
Yes, once you are admitted to the Clinic and have appropriate Clinic identification, you will be able to leave and re-enter throughout the day, but if you are in line for a particular step you will lose your place by leaving the building for a long time and you will need to go to the end of the line for that step when you return. If you have a companion with you, it is suggested that if possible, they leave to pick up food or other items you may need so that you can keep your place in line.
23. Can I have someone accompany me into the Clinic?
Yes, guests must initially enter the Clinic at the same time as the patient they are accompanying in order to receive appropriate Clinic identification. After that, guests will be able to leave and re-enter the Clinic throughout the day but will not be able to receive Clinic healthcare services.
24. Will there be a place to store my large belongings?
Yes. When you enter the Exhibition Hall there will be a bag check for larger items that you may not want to carry with you all day. Please keep anything with you that you will need throughout the day such as food, water, or extra layers of clothing.
25. Is transportation or parking provided?
Transportation is not provided, but more information on how to get to Seattle Center using public transportation is available at seattlecenter.com/visitor-info/getting-here. Patient parking is provided for free in the Mercer Street Garage (650 3rd Ave North).
26. Is childcare (daycare service) available?
No. You can bring children with you, even if they are not seeking services, but their care is your responsibility. Please plan for how to pass the time with them and make sure you have food and activities to keep them satisfied.
27. Are interpreters available?
28. Do I have to be concerned about my immigration status?
All are welcome! Patients DO NOT need ID or proof of immigration status. The Clinic does not share private information without patient consent. Seattle/King County Clinic is a sensitive location as defined by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
ICE Statement on Sensitive Locations (www.ice.gov):
The ICE sensitive locations policy, which remains in effect, provides that enforcement actions at sensitive locations should generally be avoided, and require either prior approval from an appropriate supervisory official or exigent circumstances necessitating immediate action. DHS is committed to ensuring that people seeking to participate in activities or utilize services provided at any sensitive location are free to do so without fear or hesitation.
Locations treated as sensitive locations under ICE policy would include, but are not limited to:
- Schools, such as known and licensed daycares, pre-schools and other early learning programs; primary schools; secondary schools; post-secondary schools up to and including colleges and universities; as well as scholastic or education-related activities or events, and school bus stops that are marked and/or known to the officer, during periods when school children are present at the stop;
- Medical treatment and health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities;
- Places of worship, such as churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples;
- Religious or civil ceremonies or observances, such as funerals and weddings; and
- During a public demonstration, such as a march, rally, or parade.
29. Will I be able to get help with health insurance?
Yes. Health insurance is not needed to be treated at the Clinic. We will have people who are able to assist you in learning more about your health insurance options and to help get you enrolled.
30. Do I need to bring a copy of my healthcare records?
No. However, if you bring an authorized prescription for eyeglasses that is less than 1 year old, you can skip the eye exam and go straight to the optical section to choose your eyeglasses.
31. I was a patient in previous years. How do I get a copy of my healthcare records?
Visit seattlecenter.org/patient-records to download the request form. Complete and submit the form according to the instructions provided.
32. I have a current healthcare need. Do you know of other places that can help?
Yes, please go to seattlecenter.org/patients to find lists of other healthcare resources by county in Washington State.