08/05/05 — WATCH: Taking healing to the byways

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WATCH: Taking healing to the byways

Most people have to really be “under the weather” before deciding that they are “sick enough to go to the doctor.”

That probably is especially true for those with limited means, no health insurance and not eligible for medical assistance as a part of their “welfare.”

As a matter of record, we have at least 6,500 people — many of them children — who fall in that category in Wayne County.

That’s how many have been treated through the Wayne Action Team for Community Health, or WATCH.

It’s a mobile clinic that travels to designated areas throughout the county to provide treatment for the ill who cannot afford to “go to the doctor.”

Since it began operations five years ago, the traveling clinic has recorded more than 27,500 patient visits.

That represents medical attention for a lot of pain and misery and discomfort that otherwise would have gone untreated. And probably most of those sufferers were little children.

The program is dependent largely on grants from institutions, organizations and benefit projects such as an upcoming golf tournament, along with medication provided by some drug companies. And volunteers play a vital role in helping staff the mobile clinic’s visits.

Those who have given their time return from each day’s service with a deep sense of satisfaction for having reached out — in a hands-on way — to suffering humanity.

Dr. Clark Gaither, aside from his own busy private practice, gives his time as medical director of the program. It was he who spearheaded its founding in 1999.

The doctor, those who staff the mobile clinic program — and all who contribute to it — are to be commended. And certainly they have earned the gratitude of the thousands of suffering souls who come to the clinics for medical help that otherwise would not be available to them.

Published in Editorials on August 5, 2005 11:06 AM