Operation Lone Star releases free health screening schedules

Operation Lone Star, the annual effort to provide free medical care to people in South Texas, returns for two weeks beginning July 25.

People in need can take advantage of services including health screenings and treatments, immunizations, student physicals, hearing and vision exams, behavioral health evaluation and a limited pharmacy.

Operation Lone Star is a chance for people to get good, basic health care and learn what they can do to help prevent future health problems, said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS commissioner. For some, this is the only opportunity all year to see a doctor.

Last year, more than 12,000 people received medical services during the operation, and about 100,000 people have been helped over its 12-year history.

Operation Lone Star is also a real-world exercise in emergency response as the people and organizations involved are trained in setting up and running clinics that could be used in a public health emergency.

It is a cooperative effort among DSHS and other health and human services agencies, Texas Military Forces, local health departments and community volunteers.

This year, the U.S. Public Health Service will participate for the first time, bringing medical staff from around the country.

Clinics will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday.

For more information, people can call the local health department or dial 2-1-1. Week 1: July 25 " 29Brownsville: Manzano Middle School, 2580 W. Alton Gloor Blvd.Mission: Palmview High School, 3901 N. La Homa RoadRio Grande City: Ringgold Middle School, 1 S. Fort RinggoldSan Juan: PSJA High School, 805 West Ridge Road Week 2: August 1 " 5Hebbronville: Hebbronville High School, 210 Longhorn LaneLaredo: Laredo Civic Center, 2400 San Bernardo Ave.