Free health clinics available on Thursday and Friday in Presidio

PRESIDIO — The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is returning to the Big Bend region again, this time offering free health clinics in Presidio and Sanderson.

Starting today, Thursday, December 2, physicians and accompanying students from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine will see patients at the Presidio Activity Center from 9 a.m. until everyone who wants to be seen is seen by these clinicians. 

The following day, Friday, December 3, the group will be at the PAC again from 9 a.m. until they run out of people wanting to be seen.

Then on Saturday, December 4, patients can get medical consultations in Sanderson at the Terrell County Community Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The free clinic events will provide screenings for hypertension, diabetes and COPD; soft tissue, muscle and joint therapy; wellness exams; sport and work physicals; ultrasound imaging; diagnostics; adult and pediatric care; and medication review.

“Our health assessments will be roughly 30 minutes each, performed by advanced level medical students, observing HIPAA policies and in consultation with one of the attending physicians,” wrote Ann Smith, the mission trip coordinator.

Patients don’t need insurance or appointments to access the free care during the group’s annual Border Wellness Mission Trip. What’s more is that the group does not need any documentation or proof of residency — all are invited to take advantage of this free healthcare.

For the Presidio and Sanderson clinics, the group will be following the Free Health Clinic Format, which is based on Remote Missionary Medical Clinics. 

“We will seek out patients in need of medical care who may be outside the current system,” wrote Smith. She said they will provide health assessments for people of the Big Bend area, support local medical personnel and not interfere with current medical clinics in the area. 

After being seen at the event, the group will give the patient a hard-copy record about their visit that includes the physician’s recommendations, which the patient can share with local medical practitioners for follow up.

The clinic events will be fully supplied with tables and medical equipment, seeing four to eight patients at a time. The group typically sees 30 to 50 patients each day, but have reached as high as 74 in a one-day clinic when needed. “If the need is greater, however, we will make that work and will not turn anyone away nor close before we have seen all patients waiting to be seen,” said Smith.