Comics from the Seattle/King County Clinic, part two: The Volunteers

In this is the second part of  3-part series, a team of artists talked to some of the over 4,000 volunteers at the 2018 Seattle/King County Clinic. The volunteers helped provide free medical, dental, and vision care at Seattle Center’s KeyArena over four days in September, and they also helped set up and take down the huge event, guide and register patients, serve as interpreters, and keep equipment running, to name just a few of their roles. Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Public Health Reserve Corps and members of our staff are among these legion of volunteers that make the Clinic possible.

Volunteers–both human and canine–are vital to the Clinic. And in turn, these comics show that the Seattle/King County Clinic provided the volunteers with a meaningful experience. For many, volunteering connected them more deeply to their community and created openings to reflect on the healthcare needs and struggles of the people they served.

Stay tuned for the last part in this series of comics that will share the outcomes of this incredible event!Volunteer by Roberta Gregory

SKCC-MikeArcher-Forney web

Lady Rose by Rachel Scheer

Health Fair Meredith Li-Vollmer web



J.D. by Rachel Scheer


Too Good Meredith Li-Vollmer

Roberta Gregory Puppy Love

SKCC-FaithHammel-Forney web

Thanks to the Seattle Center, the Seattle Center Foundation, and Public Health—Seattle & King County for support of this comics journalism project. Special thanks to the artists Amy Camber, Ellen Forney, Kelly Froh, Tatiana Gill, Roberta Gregory, David Lasky, Meredith Li-Vollmer, and Rachel Scheer who volunteered their time and to all the patients and volunteers who shared their stories with us.

More on the Seattle/King County Clinic at

Originally posted on February 1, 2019.

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I am a risk communications specialist at Public Health - Seattle & King County.

4 thoughts on “Comics from the Seattle/King County Clinic, part two: The Volunteers

    1. Thanks, Angela! The Seattle/King County Clinic is on hiatus for 2019 while KeyArena is under construction. The organizers are working to identify a location for 2020. You can get updates at their website: There is a link on that page for how you can volunteer at other free clinics.

      The dogs at the Seattle/King County Clinic are with Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response: .

  1. I volunteered at the clinic last year and the kindness of patients and volunteers described in these comments is spot on. While I volunteered, a provider said the same thing to me as in one of these comments: “this is amazing, but it shouldn’t exist”. That sentiment has stuck with me. How can we fail to provide healthcare to people at such an epic proportion that our answer is to ask them to stand in line for hours at an arena 4 days out of the year to receive the care they need. The clinic is an amazing feat of collaboration, amazing volunteers and incredibly gracious patients, but I look forward to a day we wouldn’t dream of needing it.

  2. Thank you for sharing these comics! I have similar feelings and experience like they describe in the comics. I’m currently volunteering in both clinical and administration settings in a local hospital. I assist the nurses and provide basic care to patients. Unlike those pre-med students, my hope is to gain experiences and learn how to interact with patients in a professional manner. I’m the first one in my family pursuing a career in health related field. At first, I was a little shy to ask the patients and nurses if I can help. Few months later, I became more professional and knowledgeable. I meet patients with different backgrounds and ethnicities. Some patients really hope someone can talk with them to distract their attentions to pain. I can tell they appreciate my help even though it’s a small thing. Nurses here are nice and collaborative. I feel so grateful of being a part of the program and the floor. During the time as a volunteer, I realize my foreign language proficiency can help patients speaking Mandarin and Cantonese. So I took the tests and became a certified medical interpreter last year. I really want to use my personal strength to help as much patients as I can. Although I don’t have my own dog, I can see how comfort dogs build up a bridge between doctors and patients. They do a great job on completing various tasks. I hope more hospitals can provide dog comfort services for patients survive from surgeries.

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