News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2007
Contact: Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121

Senator Judith Zaffirini Welcomes Operation Lone Star 2007 to Laredo and South Texas

(LAREDO) - Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, today (Tuesday) welcomed to Laredo and South Texas volunteers that comprise Operation Lone Star during the 2007 VIP day held at the Laredo Civic Center. Operation Lone Star is an annual joint effort of the Texas Military Forces, Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and volunteers that will provide free dental and medical services to Laredo for the first time in Lone Star's nine years of operation.

Operation Lone Star has provided essential medical services to under-served communities in South Texas since 1999 while also providing Emergency Preparedness training for state military services.

In 2001 Senator Zaffirini wrote to Texas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Daniel James III to recommend the creation of a division of state military medical forces that are able to respond to medical emergencies and catastrophic events. In 2003 the Texas Medical Rangers were born based on this significant recommendation. The Texas Medical Rangers respond to Texas public health emergencies and provides significant support each year to Operation Lone Star.

"Operation Lone Star is an outstanding partnership composed of state health service officials and Texas military service personnel who volunteer annually to bring free health services to families in South Texas and this year to Laredo," Senator Zaffirini said. "For the last eight years, Operation Lone Star has saved lives by providing free health services, including basic medical and dental treatments for thousands of children and families in South Texas. I especially am proud to have contributed to the creation of the Texas Medical Rangers and growth of Operation Lone Star."

This year's Operation Lone Star began providing services on July 23 at Vela Middle School in Brownsville. Other sites included Raymondville High School in Raymondville; PSJA High School South in San Juan; and Chapa Elementary School in Mission.

From July 30 to August 3, Operation Lone Star will provide services at the Laredo Civic Center; Ringgold Middle School, Rio Grande City; and Zapata Middle School. Services include general medical care, general dental care, adult dental care, sports physicals, immunizations, diabetic screening, high blood pressure screening and pharmacy services.

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