Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Tonya Papanikolas ReportingA report released this week says more than 185-thousand working adults in Utah have no health insurance. The week has been dubbed "Cover the Uninsured Week." It's a huge concern that the city of Ogden is doing something about.
A year and a half ago Ogden received just over a million dollars in federal grant money to fund a program called the "Health Access Team." The goal of HAT is to provide health care to low-income individuals, even if they need expensive medical care.
Richard Perez Perales likes to read his Bible, but reading anything is somewhat difficult since Richard only has one good eye.
Richard Perez Perales, Had Retinal Eye Tear: “I had a retinal tear."
Richard had two surgeries that didn't work. He eventually went blind in his right eye and didn't seek help for nine years.
Richard Perez Perales: “Just basic neglect on my part. Just constantly working and just doing my own thing.”
Richard had to quit his job. But this year he found out about Ogden's Health Access Team. A caseworker helped him find an ophthalmologist who would work for free.
Dr. Fred Clayson: “We are happy to help him out."
Dr. Fred Clayson has already removed Richard's cornea. In about a month he will give him a new fake eye.
Dr. Fred Clayson: “He'll have his portrait painted, basically, with this. The artist, who is extremely skilled at it, will match his other eye to this eye."
Eleven-year-old Jesus Cuadras is also receiving care. He has a rare disorder which causes his teeth to fall out, along with dry, scaly skin. Soon he'll receive dentures from a participating oral surgeon.
Jesus Cuadras: “I want to have, like, teeth.”
The Health Access Team is happy they can help that dream come true.