Texans Train for Disaster With Humanitarian Mission
By Staff Sgt. Daniel Griego
WESLACO, Texas (7/28/10) – "What we do and what we're training for is a mass casualty," said Texas State Guard Capt. James R. Owens, a registered nurse with the DFW Medical Group. "It's about taking care of the population."
LAREDO, Texas – Capt. Alec Ross, a member of the Texas State Guard and Galveston, Texas, resident, checks a patient’s ears during Operation Lone Star at the Laredo Civic Center. Operation Lone Star is a joint project of the Texas Military Forces, state health and human services agencies, county health departments, local service groups and volunteers. (Archived Photo by: Teaxs Army National Guard, Sgt. Matthew Wester)
Services include health screenings and treatments, immunizations, physicals for students, hearing and vision exams, and limited dental care. Last year Operation Lone Star provided medical services to more than 12,000 residents.
“This is one-stop opportunity for people in need to get free medical care and learn more about health services offered in Texas,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. “For some, this is the only time they’ll see a doctor all year. It’s an opportunity for us to provide treatment and talk to people about prevention and wellness.”
The six-county effort is a joint project of state health and human services agencies, Texas State Guard, Army and Air National Guard, local health departments, local services groups and schools, and civilian volunteers. Operation Lone Star also serves as a way for state and local officials to train for a medical emergency. Setting up the two-week, multi-site clinics becomes a real-time exercise on how to respond to a public health crisis. Clinic sites will provide care from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. For more information call the local health department or dial 2-1-1.
Week 1: July 26 – 30 – Garcia Middle School, 5701 FM 802 Palmview – Palmview High School, 3901 North La Homa Road Raymondville – Raymondville High School, 1 Bearkat Blvd. San Juan – PSJA High School, 805 West Ridge Road
Week 2: August 2 – 6 Laredo – Alexander High School, 3600 East Del Mar Blvd. Rio Grande City – Rio Grande City High School, 144 FM 3167 Zapata – Zapata Community Center, 607 North US 83
(News Media Contact: John Villarreal, Bilingual Information Specialist, 512-458-7111 ext. 3412 or 512-921-3687.)