Thursday, October 31, 2002

Good Things Catholics Do:

The Catholic Mobile Medical Clinic in Hillsborough County, Florida, bringing health care to migrant workers.

For the past three years Proctor, a member of the Daughters of Wisdom Catholic religious order, has been driving the mobile medical clinic for the St. Petersburg Diocese of Catholic Charities. Every other Friday evening, Proctor makes this trek to the Jaymar Villas in rural Balm. She visits the San Jose Mission in Dover on Monday night, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Wimauma on Sunday and the Good Samaritan Mission in Balm on Tuesday morning.

Before Catholic Charities acquired the mobile clinic, many of Proctor's clients did not have access to health care because of time and transportation restraints. But even after Catholic Charities got the vehicle, it took a long time to gain the community's trust. Last year, Proctor and Lamas, who is a certified nurse's aide, would sometimes wait for hours and see no one. Today, largely because of word of mouth, people trust the clinic. Within minutes of Proctor's arrival, a young man pulls up on a red bicycle, accompanied by several friends.

"Buenas noches," Proctor greets them. "Que necesitan?"

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