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Urgent Call Is Issued for More Local Doctors and Nurses for Monday's Free Health Clinic

NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizers of Monday's massive, one-day, free medical clinic at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans are urging more local doctors and advanced practice nurses to volunteer, because travel problems related to Hurricane Irene along the East Coast have prevented some physicians and nurses from reaching New Orleans.

"Our hearts go out to those individuals who are in Hurricane Irene's path," Dr. Rani Whitfield, a Baton Rouge physician who is the clinic's medical director, said. "Six years after Hurricane Katrina, we know firsthand the devastation that a storm of this magnitude can cause. As we continue to rebuild here and pray for those on the eastern seaboard, I encourage my fellow local medical providers to help us support the hundreds of uninsured patients who have registered for appointments on Monday."

The National Association of Free Clinics (NAFC) is sponsoring the C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinic at the convention center on the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Patients will receive medical care Monday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Information on the event and how to register to volunteer is available online at:  Volunteer hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.  Out-of-state licensed doctors and nurses also are welcome, and the website has information on how to obtain a temporary license.

The C.A.R.E. Clinic relies on volunteers to make the event possible.  The medical volunteers needed include: doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, emergency medical technicians, medical administrators, licensed clinical social workers and more. Non-medical volunteers also are needed.

This free clinic is not just for the sick but also for anyone who is uninsured and has not seen a doctor recently. Some patients have not seen a doctor in several years, others need a follow-up because they have chronic diseases, and some simply need a checkup or a physical.  The one common thing they all share is limited access to get this care.  All clinic participants will receive preventive, primary medical care and be connected to the area's safety-net providers and available resources, many of which people often are unaware.

SOURCE National Association of Free Clinics
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