BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – In light of the healthcare battle in Washington, A local doctor is volunteering his time to make sure people both here and abroad have access to medical care.
Dr. David Holmes just returned to Buffalo after he led a group of University at Buffalo medical students and residents on a medical mission to Panama.The team worked with floating doctors, an organization that travels by boat to remote villages to provide medical care.
Dr. Holmes works in global health education through the university, but he also runs a completely free, volunteer driven medical practice in Buffalo, “Good Neighbors Health Care.”
He says, he treats the same health issues here at home that he also treats when he travels abroad. Dr. Holmes said, “If I could help just a few people, that’s a few people and that’s better than nothing.”
Most recently Holmes partnered with “Floating Doctors” which took him to a remote village in Panama.
He said, “Some of the patients had walked for many hours.”
All of them are seeking treatment from Holmes and the 10 University at Buffalo medical students and 2 family residents by his side. Dr. Holmes said, “The village is so remote, that we had to unload the vans, and then carry the medical equipment into the village.”
There’s not much access to clean water there, but despite that many of the patients are treated for diabetes. He said, “They had at-least 4 stores right in the community that all sold Coke and candy.
Interestingly enough, it’s the same story back in Buffalo where he runs the Good Neighbors Health Clinic. He says most of the time he’s treating the undeserved here for problems from smoking and diabetes. He said, “There would be so much less morbidity, illness and people would be living a whole lot longer.”
Now here at home, Holmes is hoping to continue to bring access to what he calls a “forgotten” part of our community. He said, “There are a lot of people who don’t quite qualify for Medicaid but they can’t afford the high cost of health insurance so they fall through the cracks.”
You’ll find the clinic in the Harvest House Ministry Center on Jefferson Avenue. Healthcare is free. It’s for anyone without insurance, whether you’re in -between jobs, or can’t afford a health care plan.
They rely on private donors for funding, and about 80 doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists and students who donate their time.
For more you can visit their website here.