I’d like to sing the praises of an old medical school classmate, Dr Dan Bell, and his wife Suzie (a nurse). They were recently on the ABC World News with Charles Gibson as part of the “Spirit of America” series. The segment ran on January 7, 2009.
They are part of a unique approach to the health care crisis in America: all have volunteered to help their uninsured neighbors receive first-rate health care -- for free. And nearly 200 other local volunteers have joined them.
"I thought it would be more of an effort to get everybody on board," explains Dr. Dan Bell. He's the idealistic family doctor who, with his bright and energetic wife Suzie, envisioned creating a free health care clinic four years ago.
"I thought we'd be doing something in the back room of our church and seeing a dozen people," Dan said of his early vision.
Instead, the Eureka Christian Health Outreach clinic, known as ECHO, sees hundreds of patients a year. Its entire staff, which now includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and a wide range of clerks, assistants, social workers and specialists, are all volunteers. No one receives a penny for their time and, on clinic nights, they can work six hours or more without a break. And that's after most of them have already put in a full day at their regular jobs.
For more information regarding ECHO or to make a donation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 253-5547.