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Central Texas Clinic Helping Uninsured

Texas leads the nation in the number of people without health insurance at 19 percent of the state's population, or more than 5 million people. But a group of Central Texans are providing care to some of our most vulnerable.

At Sacred Heart Community clinic, Dr. Rodolpho Uriegas puts even the smallest at ease. Dr. Rudy, as he's known, started doing medical mission work outside the U.S. many years ago. But he realized there was a need much closer to home.

"I figured there were people just around the corner that needed out help, and so that's why I got involved," he said.

Dr. Rudy now sees patients at Sacred Heart Community Clinic in Round Rock, which provides medical care and prescriptions at no cost to patients who need it most.

Michael Diaz is a teacher, but he hasn't been able to find work in the area and doesn't have insurance.

"My blood sugar has been up and down, skyrocketing," he said.

Sacred Heart has been a lifesaver.

"It is a godsend," he said. "Providing to someone, like myself, or anyone else that's out there that doesn't have the necessary funds."

"We see people who have run out of their medication," said Uriegas. "If we didn't take care of them, they'd wind up in the hospital with a stroke or a heart attack."

But the need is overwhelming. The clinic often has to close early because there just aren't enough providers to meet the need. But it's one that can't remain unmet, which is why volunteers like Dr. Rudy continue giving their time -- which makes a world of difference.

"When people tell you, 'Thank you for being here,' it's great. It's food for the soul," he said.

Sacred Heart has been honored twice by RecognizeGood{}for the work they do, and they're trying to do more. They hope to expand with a dental clinic, but that takes money. If you'd like to help with their mission, you can donate at their website: www.sacredheartclinic.org.

By Hema Mullur

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