Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rural rescues urban?

In this day and age, that headline has the ring of "man bites dog." Nevertheless, it is arguably one takeaway of Jennifer Steinhauer's New York Times story, "Thousands Line Up for Promise of Free Health Care." To be more precise, the take away would be that a rural-oriented non-profit comes to the rescue of urban residents. Here's an excerpt:

For the second day in a row, thousands of people lined up on Wednesday — starting after midnight and snaking into the early hours — for free dental, medical and vision services, courtesy of a nonprofit group that more typically provides mobile health care for the rural poor.

* * *

When Remote Area Medical, the Tennessee-based organization running the event, decided to try its hand at large urban medical services, its principals thought Los Angeles would be a good place to start. But they were far from prepared for the outpouring of need. Set up for eight days of care, the group was already overwhelmed on the first day after allowing 1,500 people through the door, nearly 500 of whom had still not been served by day’s end and had to return in the wee hours Wednesday morning.
Set up in the Los Angeles Forum, Steinhauer likened the clinic to a giant M*A*S*H unit.

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