South of Houston at the southernmost tip of Texas lies a busy border town called McAllen. It’s an agricultural hub bustling year-round in its warm, gulf climate. Not surprisingly, McAllen has a large population of people who are uninsured and lack sufficient dental, medical, and vision care.
On September 17 and 18, 2023, Life and Health was in McAllen, Texas, to help with a free dental, vision and medical clinic. Situated at the McAllen Convention Center, the clinic represented a collaboration of the Seventh-day Adventist churches in the area to help the local community. Many volunteers from the local churches and from the McAllen community in general came together to help those in need. The local dental school and an RN school sent students and teachers to volunteer. Dr. Dona Cooper-Dockery, MD, and her local McAllen primary care clinic, Cooper Medical, made this clinic possible through her vision, organization and leadership. In fact, this is one of many free clinics Dr. Cooper-Dockery has organized in the past for the people of McAllen and overseas in places like Africa and the Caribbean.
Life and Health was there with our clinic equipment, and we provided logistical support to make this clinic possible. We had 20 dental chairs and 4 vision lanes setup at this clinic. Over two hundred volunteers came together over two days to serve the people of McAllen.
Dental services like free fillings, extractions and cleanings were offered. Free eye exams, free frames and lenses were also offered in the vision section. Many medical doctors volunteered at this clinic and provided pediatric care, OBGYN, dermatology, and general medicine. Some diagnostic services like blood work and even X-rays were offered on-site at the clinic. Massage therapists and chiropractors provided therapy while people waited for dental or vision services.
Food bank services provided free food hampers and local Adventist Community Services branch donated boxes and boxes of free clothing.
Preventative medicine was emphasized at this clinic. A live cooking demonstration and food sampling occurred as people waited for services. A chef created simple yet tasty plant-based dishes throughout the day. And several lifestyle medicine trained physicians were available all day long to counsel one-on-one with patients about their medical conditions.
Over 1,200 people were helped over the course of two days. We thank the amazing volunteers who made this clinic possible!