WILLMAR, Minn. — A program to provide health care at reduced fees for some financially strapped farm families in southwestern Minnesota began Friday through a partnership of doctors, business and poverty program officials.
"This program preserves the dignity of the farmer," said Dr. James Tiede, program chairman. "It's confidential and they don't have to worry about collection agencies hounding them."
Physicians and about half of the dentists in seven counties will treat qualified patients for only half the usual fee, paid with money donated by businesses and administered by poverty programs. No government money is involved.
$1,000 a Year for Family
The Minnesota program, based in Willmar, is called Rural Emergency Medical Services. It is designed to provide up to $1,000 a year in essential medical and dental services to each eligible farm family in Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lyon, Redwood, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.