I want to listen on:
Nearly half of Americans are uninsured or underinsured and don’t have access to quality health care, vision, or dental care.
Love Heals Free Clinics helps people get high-quality health care and other services to improve their health.
This week Ryan talks with Lyndon Nguyen, Executive Director of Love Heals Free Clinics in Part 2 of his interview. Listen to Part 1 of Lyndon’s interview.
Find ways you can get involved in helping people get high quality medical care.
1:51 What is Love Heals Free Clinic
5:47 Clinic Stories
13:25 What does a clinic provide
18:23 Funding structure
28:34 Ways to volunteer
Ryan Dye (00:00):
From CoLab Inc, it's There to Here, a show about entrepreneurs, innovators, and investors and the impact they seek to make on the world. Today's episode is part two of our conversation with Lyndon Nguyen, executive director of the nonprofit Love Heals Free Clinics. Lyndon talks about his work with Love Heals and the organization's goal to provide free medical care to underserved communities across the United States. We'd love to get your feedback on our show, so I'm asking that you take a moment and visit colabinc.org to fill out a brief survey, and you'll be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Ryan Dye (00:32):
I'm Ryan Dye, executive director of CoLab, and on today's show, we talk with Lyndon Nguyen, executive director of the nonprofit organization, Love Heals. Lyndon, thanks for joining us again.
Lyndon Nguyen (00:43):
Thanks for having me back.
Ryan Dye (00:45):
Last time we spent quite a bit of time talking about your very unique and interesting background and education, which covers everything from math, biology, engineering, being in the sciences, an MBA, a law degree. What are we missing? What have you not done yet? Astronaut, have we gotten that far?
Lyndon Nguyen (01:05):
I have not done that yet.
Ryan Dye (01:06):
That could be the next phase. Maybe Elon Musk is looking for some additional help. But you have landed here as an executive director for a nonprofit, with Love Heals, which is really a neat organization. As I mentioned, the goal is to provide free medical clinics across the country. And I think given that the United States, healthcare is a major topic, not only in how expensive it is for people to be able to afford insurance or a lack thereof, but just the cost in general is so high. And this is really filling a need, I think, in this country. But tell me a little bit about what Love Heals does and what the goal is.
Lyndon Nguyen (01:51):
Well, just like you said, Love Heals provides free medical, dental, and vision for underserved people and communities around the United States and around the world. We're trying to expand that to go international.
Ryan Dye (02:08):
You have a global reach.
Lyndon Nguyen (02:08):
Yeah, a global reach, and partner with some of these global organizations that are already international and work with them to provide these services. Because there's a lot of organizations that are already in the local community, but a lot of people don't know about it, or they don't know how to access it. And when I used to help at soup kitchens and talk to people, it's really interesting. We tend to overlook little things that we take for granted. For example, if I said, "Hey, our clinic..." For example, the last clinic was maybe two miles away from the local soup kitchen.
Ryan Dye (02:47):
Where there are resources.
Lyndon Nguyen (02:48):
Yeah, where there are resources. But what do we do when we look for directions? We Google it. We look on our phone. But they don't have that. And so little things like that we take for granted. And I was talking to one guy, I remember he needed a ride somewhere so I took him where he needed to go and I was talking to him. He was telling me his story about how he lost his driver's license. And so our public transportation isn't great here in Idaho. We have it, but it's not the greatest. And he said he can't find a job outside of about a three mile radius because it's got to be where he can ride his bike or take the bus-
Ryan Dye (03:25):
Or even walk.
Lyndon Nguyen (03:26):
... or even walk, exactly. And then in the winter time, sometimes it's hard to walk and ride your bike so he's limited.
Ryan Dye (03:34):
It becomes prohibitive.
Lyndon Nguyen (03:37):
Yeah. And so when we started seeing these things... And the way Love Heals is... Some people will ask, "Well, how is that different from, there's free clinics that are brick and mortar in towns." And one of the directors actually asked me that, "Well, what do you do different that we don't do?" And I said, "Well, you have a brick and mortar and sometimes people can't get to you. We will travel to the places where these people need the assistance."
Ryan Dye (04:11):
Try to find the location where it's convenient for your clientele.
Lyndon Nguyen (04:15):
Yep. And the other thing that we do is, we like to say this right now, working with the board and Fred Cornforth, who's our major funder on this, we talk about the fact that we provide services with no agenda whatsoever. We go out and show people love. And there's a lot of organizations that go out and do this, but they're religiously-based. And so, we wanted to go out and not be religiously affiliated and not evangelize. We're going to help people. We'll have religious organizations that we partner with, and we want that, that's great. But our primary goal is to just go out and help people.
Ryan Dye (05:06):
And just serve.
Lyndon Nguyen (05:07):
Yeah. Just to serve.
Ryan Dye (05:08):
Yeah. I think that's fantastic.
Ryan Dye (05:11):
You were sharing a story with me earlier about a clinic you did here locally in Boise, Idaho, and just some of the feedback or experience you were having with those who came to the clinic, and they were having a hard time believing this was free.
Lyndon Nguyen (05:28):
Yeah. And that's the amazing thing. You come out with so many stories. And this was just a small clinic. We were testing out some changes that I was making. And I can just think of immediately, there's at least 10 stories, but two that stick out in my mind. One were these two Syrian sisters, they were from Syria. And this clinic was specifically targeted towards immigrant families that didn't have medical or dental or vision services, or insurance whatsoever.
Ryan Dye (05:59):
And adjusting to a new environment and new country. There's all kinds of thing they just don't know.
Lyndon Nguyen (06:03):
Yeah. And so these two Syrian sisters, they came in and they spoke broken English and they sat down at the registration and they said, "How much?"
Lyndon Nguyen (06:14):
And I said, "Nothing, the service is completely free. Do you need dental work?"
Lyndon Nguyen (06:19):
And they said, "No, there's always something. There's always, how much at the end when we're done. How much?"
Lyndon Nguyen (06:27):
And they just kept emphasizing and I said, "Nothing."
Lyndon Nguyen (06:29):
She said, "No, that's a trick."
Lyndon Nguyen (06:32):
And I said, "Trust me. At the end, when you're done, you don't owe us anything. And it's all free. The x-rays, your blood pressure, all this stuff that we do up to and including extracting your painful tooth or cleaning your teeth." And they just sat there and didn't believe me. And I said, "Just register." They gave us fake names. And I said, "That's fine. I just need to be able to get you through the clinic and know who we're calling." And so they went all the way through. And normally we have a process where essentially nobody backtracks at all, we make sure people flow all the way-
Ryan Dye (07:10):
Things move forward.
Lyndon Nguyen (07:11):
Yeah, they move forward. Well, they refused to go out the exit door. And after they were done with their services, they came back to registration and the volunteers were like, "Oh, I couldn't get them to stop. They wanted to come back."
Lyndon Nguyen (07:23):
And they told the registration table, I wasn't there. They were crying. And they said, "Why would professional dentists and volunteers, and people who are professionals, nurses, and all these other people do this on their Saturday, their days off, for nothing?"
Lyndon Nguyen (07:45):
And they just couldn't believe it. And they were saying they come from a country where things are taken from them all the time. And it's take. And so they thought they just couldn't trust anybody. And I find that there's many people, whether they live in America or whether they come from other countries, they have that lack of trust in people. And so going back to when one of the brick and mortar clinic directors asked me, "What do you do different than us?"
Lyndon Nguyen (08:20):
And I said, "We have no agenda whatsoever. We don't track these people."
Lyndon Nguyen (08:25):
And they said, "Well, we have to because of our funding."
Lyndon Nguyen (08:28):
Well, I said, "All of our funding is not governmental. It's donations."
Lyndon Nguyen (08:33):
And so these people, when they go into these brick and mortar clinics that are funded by state and federal agencies, they have to fill out-
Ryan Dye (08:42):
They have to fill out a bunch of paperwork or ways to be tracked.
Lyndon Nguyen (08:45):
... and ways to be tracked, and they don't trust that. They don't trust the government that they left.
Ryan Dye (08:49):
Well, they came from very untrustworthy places.
Lyndon Nguyen (08:52):
Ryan Dye (08:53):
I'm not saying we're perfect either, but yeah-
Lyndon Nguyen (08:55):
Right. That's a whole nother conversation.
Ryan Dye (08:56):
Yeah. That's a whole other topic. But yeah, I think that when you're able to show care and compassion to others and just say, "Folks, there's no strings attached here."
Lyndon Nguyen (09:08):
That's it. That's our motto.
Ryan Dye (09:10):
"We just want to try to meet the needs that you have the best we can right now." That's a wonderful testament I think, or a message, to be able to share in humanity. I think that's great.
Lyndon Nguyen (09:22):
Well, I think we're missing that in humanity now. If we want to just slightly delve into what we're dealing with now in the world, if we'd all show a little more love-
Ryan Dye (09:33):
And compassion and kindness.
Lyndon Nguyen (09:35):
... with compassion and no strings attached whatsoever, and people get to see that when they start seeing that, they realize... We so rarely know what true love is, right? With no strings attached.
Ryan Dye (09:49):
Lyndon Nguyen (09:51):
Everything is conditional and that's what they've seen. And every day in transactions, it's a legal term where I trade one thing for another thing, and people feel that love is the same way. True love, unconditional, is no strings attached. And I don't want to say... Many of the people that volunteer are good Christians, Muslims, all different religions. And I want to make it open so anybody can ask, but that's not our primary goal. If they want to ask the person who is helping them, "Why are you doing this? What do you believe?" they can share that way but that's not our primary goal.
Lyndon Nguyen (10:36):
The example I like to give is when people ask me, "Well, why?" Well, if you're laying on the ground with a fractured femur, and the first thing you say to them is, do you know Jesus or whoever, they'll say whatever in order to get you, I don't care. What do I have to say for you to get me-
Ryan Dye (10:56):
That's not my need at the moment.
Lyndon Nguyen (10:56):
Yeah. I'll say whatever I need to say for you to get me to the hospital and call an ambulance, right? And so that's what we wanted to eliminate and just show people love.
Lyndon Nguyen (11:08):
And the other story that I'll share very quickly here is, Jill Cornforth, she's amazing. She loves these clinics and she's so compassionate and great with patients. She came in-
Ryan Dye (11:19):
And she's a nurse.
Lyndon Nguyen (11:20):
She's a nurse. And she came in and visited. And there was this girl that came in with a daughter that was a little older, 10 years old, somewhere around there. Talked to the girl and she didn't like the guy that the mother was with. Well, the girl came in to just get her teeth cleaned. And she had a chipped tooth. And the dentist said, "Well, I can fix that for you if you want me to. It's just a chipped tooth. And she said, "Really?" She was so happy. She ended up coming back the next day and getting her fiance's teeth cleaned, and then she got a cleaning as well after getting an extraction and the teeth cleaned. She wrote a thank you note and the thank you note was, just summarizing: "You helped me put my past behind me." And the story is that she got really close with Jill. Jill ended up talking with the daughter and watching her. And it turns out she was in a bad relationship previously, chased with a knife or a gun or something, and-
Ryan Dye (12:19):
An abusive situation. Yeah.
Lyndon Nguyen (12:21):
... an abusive situation, put her head through a window and chipped her tooth. And so she said every day of her life, after that, when she'd look in the mirror, it would remind her of that experience. And she said now her life can move forward because she looks in the mirror and she doesn't see that anymore.
Ryan Dye (12:37):
Yeah. That's that's amazing.
Lyndon Nguyen (12:39):
Yeah. Just stories like that.
Ryan Dye (12:41):
Absolutely. Really, that's a fairly simple fix just to be able to have that kind of impact on someone's emotional wellbeing.
Lyndon Nguyen (12:49):
Yeah. And that's a great point. Just something small like that, did more than just fix their physical-
Ryan Dye (12:55):
Yeah, it's not just the aesthetic. It's the internal scars.
Lyndon Nguyen (12:59):
Yep. It changes these people's lives. Those girls now have seen what true love is, unconditional, without strings attached.
Ryan Dye (13:07):
That's right. No, there's so much negativity and pain in the world that to have those moments in life where it's like, "Wow, I was able to receive something as a gift," is really a wonderful story.
Ryan Dye (13:19):
More specifically, with the clinics, what all do you provide? Teeth cleaning, eyes checked, things like that, how advanced can a clinic get?
Lyndon Nguyen (13:29):
Oh, that's a great question. Sure. So previously, and there's other clinics out there that kind of had a system, well, unfortunately the system doesn't work everywhere is what we found. We found that you almost have to cater to the area you go to. Because you may go to an area where they just don't have a lot of services that can be provided and not a lot of providers. So we may end up having to bring in other providers, like for vision. Vision, it's hard to get optometrists to take time off. And there's several reasons why. It's not their fault. There's a system that unfortunately makes it difficult for them to volunteer time. So we ended up bringing an optometrist from out of town who, she has portable equipment, which is, as you know, there's a lot of big equipment, you know, lenses and all these things that they got bring-
Ryan Dye (14:19):
There's a reason these places are brick and mortar.
Lyndon Nguyen (14:21):
Right, exactly. And heavy equipment. And so she has this specialized equipment that she brings, and we contract with her to bring it out and provide the free exams. And then she's able to provide glasses and frames for about $10 each. Now we have partnered with a new organization too, they're able to subsidize the glasses and frames as well but there's a limited number so they can get those for free. So we do provide in the area, depending on the venue and what they need, vision, free glasses, no contact lenses or anything like that. For dental, again, when you go to a dental office there's these devices that are needed in order for them to do their dental work. We have purchased all of these portable units that actually the military uses as well, they're field units, that just need a compressor in order to run all the tools that they need.
Ryan Dye (15:17):
The tools, right.
Lyndon Nguyen (15:18):
And so they're very durable. And so we provide those units. And we actually, if churches want to do mission trips, they've asked us if they can borrow the equipment and we've, yeah, we can reach-
Ryan Dye (15:31):
You work out some arrangement.
Lyndon Nguyen (15:32):
Yep. And so those dental units, we bring those and set them up in a gymnasium or a church, a multipurpose room.
Ryan Dye (15:43):
And you've had clinics at fairgrounds and parking lots.
Lyndon Nguyen (15:47):
Parking lots and wherever.
Ryan Dye (15:49):
Just community gathering spaces, yeah.
Lyndon Nguyen (15:50):
Exactly. And so it's all in what we can get. And we set it up and we can get the local community to volunteer. Dental hygienists, dental hygiene schools.
Ryan Dye (16:04):
It's great experience.
Lyndon Nguyen (16:05):
Yeah. So that's what we provide. And generally, dental is going to be limited because for our large clinics, for example, a lot of these people come in with rotten teeth. And so if you had insurance, this is the sad thing, if you had insurance they might be able to repair it. But these people aren't going to get followups.
Ryan Dye (16:23):
So extraction is the way to go.
Lyndon Nguyen (16:24):
Extraction is... Yep.
Ryan Dye (16:27):
You're not doing root canals and crowns and things like that.
Lyndon Nguyen (16:29):
Exactly. Restorative is going to be tough because you need a lab in order to-
Ryan Dye (16:34):
That's a whole nother realm of challenges.
Lyndon Nguyen (16:37):
Yeah. So we'll do mainly extractions for the dentists, they'll do extractions. They'll do some restoration. She had a chipped tooth and he was able to make it look with what we had there. So the dentist will decide, generally, what they're comfortable doing. Then the hygienists, they're cleaning teeth constantly. And they're great. They don't get enough praise for what they're doing, just because they're leaning over these people for like 10, 12 hours. And these people-
Ryan Dye (17:06):
It's exhausting work, actually.
Lyndon Nguyen (17:07):
Yeah. And most of these people, they haven't had their teeth cleaned in years.
Ryan Dye (17:13):
Yeah. Or ever.
Lyndon Nguyen (17:14):
Or ever, or ever. Yeah we had a case like that. But they were so grateful. These people are so grateful when you're done. I think the saddest thing and the nicest feeling I'm seeing is, these people, a lot of them don't feel that they are deserving of the service, which is sad to me, because everybody should have access to health and dental and vision to be able to see.
Lyndon Nguyen (17:44):
And a lot of times, one of the funniest stories is one of my close friends, they had a child when he was young and they thought, oh, we're going to put him into sports. Well, he was terrible at soccer. Well, later on they found out he couldn't see. So he would just stand in the middle of the field and when the ball got close enough, he'd start running, and then when the ball went further away, he just stopped and they said, "Oh, maybe he sucks at sports." He just couldn't see. So things like that, or kids that don't do well in school, maybe they can't see the board. Little things like that we-
Ryan Dye (18:18):
It can be fixed, or it can be addressed anyway.
Lyndon Nguyen (18:20):
Right. That's what we hope to do with this. The other great thing with Love Heals is the way it's structured right now, 100% of all donations goes towards the work.
Ryan Dye (18:32):
For healthcare, yeah.
Lyndon Nguyen (18:33):
Yeah. Because CDI has generously taken care of the administrative costs.
Ryan Dye (18:40):
Yeah. That's amazing. That's amazing. I mean, just in the nonprofit world, when you're able to really give back, especially a hundred percent, that's unusual, but also wonderful when it's possible.
Ryan Dye (18:56):
Some of the clinics that you've done, what are some of the largest numbers that the clinic has seen?
Lyndon Nguyen (19:03):
We have an incredible leader out in Baton Rouge, Donna Collins-Lewis, and she is so passionate about it. She's a councilwoman out there, and she just has a heart to help these people out there. And they've done clinics down there where it's served over 2000 people in two days. And that's amazing. And even then they had to turn people away. And so in 2021, we're looking at doing not only Baton Rouge, but about 90 miles away, New Orleans. So yeah, it all depends on the area and the services we can get, and going back to your question with what services we can provide, for medical, usually it's dependent on what's available in the area.
Ryan Dye (19:49):
Yeah. What resources you can tap into.
Lyndon Nguyen (19:51):
Ryan Dye (19:52):
Well, it's kind of hard for us to understand or appreciate in the United States, you think, wow, it's a country with so many opportunities and resources, and how is it we need free clinics across the country? We often think that this is a great missional thing to do in developing countries. Well, there are plenty of small impoverished parts of our country that don't have resources. That need is almost never-ending.
Lyndon Nguyen (20:24):
And that's the thing. I think everything in our lives is based on our own experience and our own context. How often do we think about the seasonal migrant workers? Well, they come and help with a lot of crops here in Idaho, but then we don't think anything of it, right?
Ryan Dye (20:43):
Lyndon Nguyen (20:43):
Well, they're not citizens. They don't get insurance, they don't get medical care. They come and work 12 hour shifts, six days a week, for a few months and then make as much money as they can and they go home. We had ready to do a clinic out in Caldwell Housing Authority. I had no idea that this place was out there. It housed all of the seasonal migrant workers out there. They had to create their own community out there because they don't have a car. They just came to work.
Ryan Dye (21:14):
They don't have the resources.
Lyndon Nguyen (21:16):
They don't have the resources. And so we were going to do a little clinic out there, but unfortunately COVID came along. But everywhere you go, there's going to be these communities that just don't have access. We think that they have access. And so that's what we do where we assess the need in the area. And then we work with the local community, because what I'm looking to do that makes us different is the sustainability.
Ryan Dye (21:40):
Right. You'd like to see longevity.
Lyndon Nguyen (21:42):
Yeah. And so in order to do that, I partner with the local community and say, "Hey, if you need a followup, Dr. So-and-so right here has a clinic. There's a genesis clinic, which is our free clinic here. If you have an infection or something like that, just go down to that clinic."
Ryan Dye (22:00):
That an important point, because ideally you don't want free medical clinics to just be a one-and-done, or here one minute and you'll never see us again because it's not like the needs disappear. The broader question, or the broader issue is, healthcare in the United States is extremely complicated, extremely expensive, and it's an issue that we continually debate about, because we compare our health care is like, oh, it's some of the finest in the world. Well, in many respects, yes. However, we're not that good at providing just basic first level health care to prevent bigger things down the road for people. We're not as effective in that area because it's cost prohibitive for a lot of folks, and we've been trying to deal with this in our country for a long time. So we look at countries like Canada that has free healthcare as it were, and yet there are pros and cons to their system as well. I mean, yes, I think it's probably better in the preventative side, but when it comes to major medical issues, not as efficient, because I might need to have this surgery, but I can't have it for X amount of months. It's a very complex issue.
Ryan Dye (23:15):
But I think that when we look at the underserved part of our population, to be able to have that continuity of care is important. And I think that would, I guess I'm leading to this question of, I would see perhaps one of the biggest challenges for Love Heals is being able to have a footprint somewhere, and to continue a process that might grow Love Heals over time to be in multiple locations. Being able to work on developing a partnership with local community leaders would be vital to this process as well. And for them to realize this could be a great resource that we want to promote as a mayor or city council members or whatever it may be. This helps alleviate some of the stress on our healthcare system and emergency rooms, you know? So anyway, that's a long-winded thing, but I just wanted to, maybe you could touch on the longterm goals of how you can grow Love Heals to address those needs.
Lyndon Nguyen (24:16):
And that's exactly it. Where essentially people would say, "Well, why would they volunteer for this?" or, "How do you market that?" For me, it's very simple. I worked in the medical field, it's the presentation to hospitals and doctors and things like that. The ERs, they're overworked.
Ryan Dye (24:31):
They're maxed out.
Lyndon Nguyen (24:32):
They're maxed out everywhere you go.
Ryan Dye (24:34):
Well, that's because that's become the free medical clinic-
Lyndon Nguyen (24:37):
That's exactly it!
Ryan Dye (24:38):
... to your underserved community.
Lyndon Nguyen (24:40):
And that's the thing. Where people are going into the emergency room for, "I need my stitches removed." You know, "I got a cough."
Ryan Dye (24:47):
"I have a sprain."
Lyndon Nguyen (24:48):
That's what's clogging up the system right there. And so the way I present it is that, what would you pay in order to save yourself from relatively small cases-
Ryan Dye (25:01):
They're primary care issues.
Lyndon Nguyen (25:03):
Yeah, that you can't even bill a lot for, but you have the emergency that comes in with a car accident or something like that, broken femurs and things like that.
Ryan Dye (25:11):
Burn victims, whatever.
Lyndon Nguyen (25:12):
Ryan Dye (25:13):
Lyndon Nguyen (25:14):
Right. And then, from, unfortunately, you still have to look at the financial aspect of it. I tell the hospitals, "Look, you can spend more time on those higher billable procedures, then donate what you save to Love Heals and we'll take care of the costs, the checkups. And as far as volunteers are concerned, same with doctors. If we can find 20 doctors to volunteer, if you just volunteered one day of your life, and you know now you can bill more and you can save yourself from these people coming into your clinic and wasting an hour of your time where you can only bill $30, really, it would actually increase everyone's, their bottom line, by helping these people. Because they don't even know where to go for primary care necessarily. "I don't have a primary care physician." They don't know where to go.
Ryan Dye (26:06):
Well, I would think that builds a pretty strong argument in talking with healthcare providers in a local area is, "Look, here's a cost analysis. Here's a savings analysis."
Lyndon Nguyen (26:16):
Ryan Dye (26:16):
If you were able to, like you say, if we could put together two dozen physicians and physician's assistants, and dentists and hygienists and whatnot, over the course of maybe two to four days a year in this community, what could that do to alleviate some of the pressure on the system?
Lyndon Nguyen (26:35):
Right. And they have problems with people not paying, well, they don't think about this. Let's take it several levels. A lot of people say, "Hey, that guy begging for money on the street, go get a job." When you go to a job interview, do we judge people by how they look? With a chipped tooth and they don't have any money, they come into a job interview, are they going to hire that person?
Ryan Dye (26:57):
Lyndon Nguyen (26:58):
Generally, no. And they're not feeling good. They don't feel like they can work. But if we treat people's health, you're going to put more people in the workforce and more people who can pay bills.
Ryan Dye (27:09):
We have to look at cause and effect. Again, there are very complex issues out there.
Lyndon Nguyen (27:14):
Ryan Dye (27:16):
It's not like this is a [crosstalk 00:27:15], problem solved. But I think there are things we can do as a society that can alleviate pressure on the problems we have. It's an incredible thing to look at organizations like Love Heals to say a dollar to this organization can go far.
Lyndon Nguyen (27:35):
And just to give you an idea, the last clinic we did, and this is very unique to this clinic, it cost us on average, we served over a hundred patients in two days with only about four hygienists on average per day, and one dentist on one day and two dentists on another day. We served over a hundred people, did over a hundred procedures.
Ryan Dye (27:55):
Yeah. That's not a ton of resources.
Lyndon Nguyen (27:57):
Right. And not counting salaries or anything, just the cost of the clinic, about a thousand dollars. So that's $10 a person.
Ryan Dye (28:05):
And you save time and energy on paperwork.
Lyndon Nguyen (28:08):
Yeah, exactly, exactly! So that's what we hope to do and-
Ryan Dye (28:14):
That's fantastic. We certainly look forward to seeing how the program continues to develop. What are ways that people can either get involved or get in touch and just find out more about what Love Heals is doing?
Lyndon Nguyen (28:26):
They can reach out to me. They can go to our website, lovehealsfreeclinic.org. And definitely sign up, register and volunteer. I mean, there's amazing things you can do and-
Ryan Dye (28:37):
And guess what folks, you don't have to be a doctor in the medical industry, in your career.
Lyndon Nguyen (28:44):
Yeah. We need people to help register people. We need people to translate. That's a big one. People to just escort people through the clinic and talk with them-
Ryan Dye (28:55):
To be a guide.
Lyndon Nguyen (28:56):
... walk with them. Yeah. Be a guide.
Ryan Dye (28:57):
Or a friendly face, for that matter.
Lyndon Nguyen (28:59):
Yeah. Then we have people who help set up, clean up. The volunteer professionals are very important. Everyone else is just as important to make this thing happen. And we need more of those people to help volunteer, to set these things up, than the hygienists and dentists. And so you may not have money to donate for these things, but you have time. You have your health, and you can come out and lift things and clean utensils or-
Ryan Dye (29:30):
Or set up.
Lyndon Nguyen (29:30):
... set up. Pick up supplies for the dentist and as they need things and-
Ryan Dye (29:36):
Any number of things that could be helpful. And I meant to ask this question too, but when you have a client go through the process and whatever need they might have that can be addressed, are there other resources you might help direct people toward or provide, as well as they get a need addressed?
Lyndon Nguyen (29:58):
Yeah. That's a great question. We generally have a lifestyles area, that as people complete their service, they can go to this lifestyle's area. And we try to get the community involved there where we'll have social services there. We will have a food bank, we'll have all the resources that people may not-
Ryan Dye (30:19):
Maybe like job resources, things like that.
Lyndon Nguyen (30:21):
Job, yeah, application, or job companies or temp companies. And all of those will be available in an area as they leave, and they can pass by all these and talk to-
Ryan Dye (30:31):
Yeah, I think that's great.
Lyndon Nguyen (30:32):
... church organizations, they could ask about, and we don't limit it to any single one. We could have 20 different churches there.
Ryan Dye (30:40):
That is vital because in any given community, there really are resources out there that can help, that just add a value to the experience as well.
Lyndon Nguyen (30:49):
Right. And that's what I realize too. I mean, we grew up here or we grew up in areas, do we know what all the resources that are available in our community?
Ryan Dye (30:56):
Lyndon Nguyen (30:57):
There's no way, right?
Ryan Dye (30:58):
No. Coming into a big community, you don't know anyone, you've been a refugee, you, whatever, maybe you're fleeing war-torn areas and it's overwhelming.
Lyndon Nguyen (31:09):
So yeah, we try to bring all the resources together. Even at a university, we were going to do one at BSU here and they loved the idea. They said... And I remember in college, I wore the same pair of glasses for four years because we couldn't afford to get new glasses. I didn't get my teeth clean my entire college career because I didn't have dental coverage.
Lyndon Nguyen (31:30):
And so they love the idea of bringing all their resources together. They have support services all over campus, but most people don't even know about it. They had a food pantry and nobody knew about it. So they said, "Let's bring all these services here. You guys bring the dental and vision. We'll bring our health clinic, and it'd be a great partnership."
Ryan Dye (31:50):
That just shows me that Love Heals was the catalyst to help make something happen. Obviously, we're in the midst of a global pandemic which makes these sorts of events hard to do, but where do you plan to do some future clinics? That might be an important thing to put out there.
Lyndon Nguyen (32:07):
I'm following very closely all of the states and areas based on their recovery from it, any relapse that they have, or an increase in. But we do have to be careful with what the media reports as opposed to real numbers that-
Ryan Dye (32:23):
What you're getting from the CDC and state health agencies.
Lyndon Nguyen (32:27):
Exactly. So we'll be working with, I just wrote some protocols, that we'll be working with the local state agencies, where we want to go, and the areas and they'll know, and they'll be able to tell us, yes, this area is an area that seems to be declining or COVID-free so we'll go into that area. And the protocols basically say, yes, we will work with the local health agency to determine where those areas are. And we had of course clinics on our radar-
Ryan Dye (32:59):
Lyndon Nguyen (33:00):
... on our schedule. But I'll have to check with local health agencies to see where we can go. We haven't rescheduled for 2021, but it's still dependent on a lot of things. What I think we'll start out slowly is, we know Idaho. We are based here in Idaho. We'll start with some small clinics here, do the social distancing, masks requirements, things like that. I hope to start out again in the next couple of months. The hard part right now is getting all the PPE. But until then, I'm still planning.
Ryan Dye (33:32):
It's hard to do hard and fast dates.
Lyndon Nguyen (33:35):
Yep. So it's really what... We're working with local health organizations to find out what they believe is going to be safe. And the other hard thing is they want us to report COVID cases. And so that goes back to the tracking issue and that becomes a whole nother issue with people.
Ryan Dye (33:51):
That hasn't part of the system.
Lyndon Nguyen (33:53):
Yeah. And so medical records becomes a huge issue then, and so I'm going to have to work with the health agencies on that.
Ryan Dye (34:02):
See what you can come up with.
Lyndon Nguyen (34:03):
Ryan Dye (34:03):
So Lyndon, is there anything I missed that you might want to share about Love Heals?
Lyndon Nguyen (34:08):
The only thing that comes to my mind right off the bat is reemphasizing something you did say, is if you have a passion for helping people and you don't know what to do, or if you have a passion for even traveling, we need volunteers all over the globe. And so reach out to us and say, "Hey, I would love to travel."
Lyndon Nguyen (34:26):
We had someone who recently reached out to us and said, "I love to travel to Africa."
Lyndon Nguyen (34:31):
I said, "Well, would you like to help plan a clinic in Africa?"
Lyndon Nguyen (34:34):
She said she would love to. So she comes over, she volunteers putting stuff together, learning the equipment. And now she's going to start making phone calls over there, trying to get a venue. And then she'll get to travel to Africa.
Ryan Dye (34:50):
So maybe what you need is volunteer tourists.
Lyndon Nguyen (34:52):
Do it as a service. Go to say, "Hey, I'd love to travel to Mississippi," travel down there, go talk to the locals, find out where the need is. Help us find a venue, find a director down there and then start planning a clinic for us down there. That's what we need.
Ryan Dye (35:08):
Thanks for sharing more information about Love Heals. It's an encouraging thing to see organizations such as Love Heals out there making a difference in local communities. So we will keep tabs on what you're up to and how the organization's growing and developing further.
Lyndon Nguyen (35:22):
All right. Thanks.
Ryan Dye (35:23):
Yeah. Thanks so much.
Ryan Dye (35:24):
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