Student Life

MBKU Students Deliver Free Care to Underserved in LA County at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

Here’s an example of how MBKU’s optometry students are involved in community service even in their very first year…

2015_CareHarbor2MBKU’s Southern California College of Optometry doctors administered 1,298 eye exams to those in need at the annual Care Harbor event in Los Angeles.

 Care Harbor LA, an annual event that brings together health care providers to serve those without access to care in Southern California, brought in approximately 4,000 patients for medical care ranging from immunizations to vision screenings. The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena was transformed into a temporary mega-clinic, providing much-needed health care to the underserved people from all over Los Angeles County and beyond.

“The Southern California College of Optometry at MBKU has participated in Care Harbor since 2011, the year it began,” said Michele Whitecavage, Director, Special Clinic Programs. “It’s great to see the Ketchum community come together year after year in support of this event.”

Vimeo Link Care Harbor

Care Harbor, a California-based non-profit that provides free high-quality medical, dental and vision care to those in need by producing large-scale health clinics in urban areas has spearheaded this event in Los Angeles since 2011.

Appointed last year as Director of the Vision Section for Care Harbor, MBKU’s own Dr. Mark Nakano was responsible for coordination of all vision care providers and participants. At Care Harbor 2015, Dr. Nakano oversaw ophthalmological providers, all optometric providers and services. He also coordinated the optical area with VSP and organized the distribution of eyeglasses after the event.2015_CareHarbor1

“It was an honor serving as Director of the Vision Section for Care Harbor. Over 18 Doctors of Optometry and 138 students volunteered at Care Harbor last week,” said Mark E. Nakano, O.D., Clinic Director and Assistant Professor. “Events like Care Harbor help our students learn how to acknowledge cultural diversity, address low health literacy and accommodate low English proficiency. These are necessary skills for all health care providers, so events like this are an important part of the education of all students at MBKU.”

This year, Care Harbor distributed a total of 4,000 wristbands over two distribution days and served approximately 1,000 patients each day. Since its inception, Care Harbor has served 13,620 patients, has overseen 56,742 medical, dental and vision services and has administered 5,732 immunizations. Representatives from more than 50 local clinics and medical practices, including MBKU’s Southern California College of Optometry, provided primary and specialized care.

About Care Harbor

Care Harbor brings help and hope to the uninsured and underserved in America’s urban centers. The organization works with local community resources and volunteers to produce free clinics providing comprehensive medical, dental, and vision care to individuals and families who are without access to the health care they need. There is no cost to the patient for the services provided. Clinics are staffed by professional and general volunteers, and supported by donations – both financial and in-kind – from local and national supporters. Don Manelli, President of Care Harbor, received the 2013 NBC4 Life Connected Award, which celebrates acts of community goodwill in Southern California. Manelli was also an Unsung Heroes of Los Angeles honoree and one of the California Endowment’s Health Happens Heroes. To learn more about Care Harbor and this year’s clinic, please visit, like us at or follow us @CareHarbor.

News about MBKU’s involvement in an online article from PR Web

About Marshall B. Ketchum University

Located in Fullerton, CA, Marshall B. Ketchum University is an independent, private, non-profit, accredited educational institution. MBKU is now home to the Southern California College of Optometry, the School of Physician Assistant Studies and planned College of Pharmacy. Named after the founder of the optometric institution in 1904, the change to a university structure addresses the growing demand for highly skilled health care professionals. The university confers a four-year, professional degree, Doctor of Optometry (OD) and a Master of Science in Vision Science (MS) degree. MBKU’s School of Physician Assistant Studies under the College of Health Sciences awards a Master of Medical Sciences (MMS) degree. MBKU has recently announced plans to establish a College of Pharmacy and plans to welcome its first class in the fall of 2016. MBKU owns and operates two premier eye and vision care centers – University Eye Center at Fullerton and University Eye Center at Los Angeles. Marshall B. Ketchum University closed on a deal in January, 2015 to purchase a building in Anaheim, CA. The building will be the new home of Ketchum Health, currently the University Eye Center housed at MBKU’s main campus in Fullerton. In addition, the new space will allow for expansion of additional primary health care services, as well as a pharmacy.

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