Vietnamese doctor provides assistance to less fortunate neighbors

By Brad Kessie - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Em Van Do is a Vietnamese doctor who's dedicating his life to better his community.  On his free days, Dr. Do treats patients who often skip doctor's appointments because the physicians don't speak the right language.

He became the first physician to make a Friday house call at the Bethel Free Clinic in Biloxi.  His passion for helping underprivileged people come from a family belief.

"This is our ministry," the doctor said.

The Long Beach High School graduate has dedicated his life to bridge the communication gap between Vietnamese elders and their American doctors.

"I believe that I can touch them.  I believe I can be a voice to them and provide these needs," he said.

The needs at the Bethel Clinic focus on healthcare for families who have little or no insurance.  Judy Jones is the clinic's director.

"We are truly blessed on a daily basis here," she said.

Making Dr. Do available to the struggling patients -- especially the people from south Mississippi's Vietnamese community -- will help clinic volunteers complete a mission they started right after Katrina.

"I think that those that are slipping through the cracks right now would, once they get the word, and they hear about it, that will make them more welcome," said Jones.

Dr. Do said his passion for these patients would never wane.

"This is a way of touching their lives.  We can touch them spiritually," said the physician.

Dr. Do will volunteer at the Bethel Free Clinic every time his schedule allows.  His next visit should be on Tuesday.

Next Tuesday night, our South Mississippi Heroes segment will take a closer look at the Bethel Free Clinic, and all the great work its volunteers have done since Hurricane Katrina.

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