Watch today’s Featured Video courtesy of KVAL-TV, Eugene, Ore., to learn more about the following story.
The future scares Margie ReGester.
“I want to be around for my grandkids,” ReGester said.
She lives on $553 a month. Country Coach laid her off three years ago, and she hasn’t been able to find work since. KVAL News interviewed ReGester when her COBRA ran out in January 2009.
Since then, like 73,000 other people in Oregon’s Lane County, ReGester’s been without insurance.
On Sunday (July 25), ReGester found herself surrounded by RVs once again. She wasn’t an employee. She was a patient.
Cascade Medical Teams rented out Monaco RV’s health clinic in Coburg, Ore., July 24-25. More than 100 volunteers, doctors and nurses treated and diagnosed people without health insurance at no cost.
Cascade Medical Teams usually provides free medical care in Guatemala. They recently decided the need was just as big in their backyard.
“We just felt that we needed to provide some of the expertise we’ve developed in doing the kinds of things we’ve done out of the country here in Lane County,” Cascade Medical Teams Board Member Bruce Mulligan said.
For ReGester, the clinic meant answers.
“Now I know why I’ve been so light-headed and dizzy and having these episodes I’ve been having,” ReGester said.
Without insurance she can’t afford doctors visits or medicine for her high blood pressure. At the clinic, Dr. Richard Barnhart did it all for free. The treatment doesn’t end there. On her way out, ReGester made a follow-up appointment at a low-income clinic. It’s a relief, she said, and it’s making her feel better.
“I’m sure my blood pressure has already gone down,” ReGester said.
The clinic served just under 200 people this weekend. Organizers said they were hoping for more patients. They are planning another free clinic in a few months and want to move it to a more central location.