Valley Residents Thankful for Free Health Care
THERMAL - There are millions of people without health insurance across the United States. That's why one organization called the Flying Doctors is giving out free help to local residents who can't afford it.
Hundreds of desert residents showed up to the 41st annual health clinic in Thermal to receive free health, dental and other medical services. "I don't have dental insurance as I’m unemployed and I’ve got a really bad cavity right now that I’m hoping to get some relief and some help here today,” says Indio resident Sherry Finke.
"I’m here to get some dental work done. I don't have a job right now but I’m in a program at the mission,” says Indio resident Heather Glunz.
Doctor David Morigan says the people that are being treated come in with an array of medical issues. "We have people with severe muscular skeletal problems. We'll have people with infections whether it's urinary, tonsillitis or ear aches,” says Morigan.
Morigan says it was nearly 20 years ago he saw a need for a free clinic in the east valley. "In 1996, a dentist and I came as a Flying Doctor group and saw the big need and told them we would be back,” says Morigan.
The event costs nearly $60,000 to put on-- money that comes mostly from donations. Morigan says the venture was even busier then he expected. "They started lining up yesterday afternoon and the line just kept growing and growing,” says Morigan.
Morigan adds even after 30 years of treating patients, the job never gets old. "I want to help people that are in need and it's gratifying to me to see people and do what I can for them."
For these Indio women, the help can't come quick enough. "It's free, it's worth it and I’m grateful for it,” says Glunz.
"It's such a blessing for everyone involved and I can't thank the professionals enough for doing this in an area where the unemployment and homelessness is so low,” says Finke.