[StBernard] Hundreds bear cold for free health care
westley at da-parish.com
Mon Jan 29 21:52:45 EST 2007
Hundreds bear cold for free health care
Line formed at 2 a.m. in New Orleans; 10,000 expected by week's end
12:00 AM CST on Monday, January 29, 2007
NEW ORLEANS - Bundled up against the chilly wind, people began lining up at
2 a.m. Sunday to see the doctors and dentists offering free care to poor and
uninsured people in the New Orleans area. By the time the first 50 had been
called, there were hundreds more behind them.
Claudette Stone, 52, of Chalmette, La., first in line, pulled up at 2 a.m.
at the park where Operation Blessing regularly operates a clinic out of
three sets of double-wide mobile buildings. This week, 14 tents have been
added for 30 doctors, 60 dentists and hundreds of nurses and nursing
students to work.
Many of the volunteers were brought by a group called Remote Area Medical.
The director of the project, Jody Herrington, said volunteers expected to
see 600 patients by the end of the day Sunday. Officials estimated that as
many as 10,000 would be served during the week.
Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical, said he was most concerned about
making sure that the first 257 people - those who had come through the gate
by 6 a.m. - were taken care of. But he said they've had enough practice to
keep things smooth.
"This is the 483rd one of these we have done," he said in between calling in
groups of patients-to-be by their assigned numbers. "We've helped over
300,000 poor folks."
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