First it was the 90-year-old man in Florida who was arrested for feeding the homeless. And now, according to the Huffington Post on Jan. 30, the State of Mississippi is demanding an 88-year-old doctor and World War 2 veteran surrender his medical license for treating the homeless and poor out of his car.
Dr. Carrol Frazier Landrum is being asked to turn over his 55-year-old medical license. He was supposed to turn it in by Jan. 15. So far, Dr. Landrum has refused and his community is standing firmly behind him. They are behind him so much, in fact, that they are building him an office so he can continue practicing medicine without using his car as an examination room.
Dr. Landrum often works for free as most of his patients can’t afford to pay him. It doesn’t bother him. It seems to bother Mississippi, though, the state claiming that “running a mobile clinic out of a vehicle is unacceptable.” This bides the question, unacceptable to whom? The only thing the Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure will say, at this point, is that an investigation is underway regarding Dr. Landrum’s license.
The community, so far, has garnered more than 54,000 signatures on a petition. Dr. Landrum’s supporters are now coming not only from his neighborhood in rural Edwards, Mississippi, but from as far away as New Zealand.
The petition states that Dr. Landrum serves a population “living in poverty or disabled and cannot travel, patients that likely wouldn’t receive medical treatment if it weren’t for him.” According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the country. Adding to that, America’s Health Rankings has deemed Mississippi the least healthy state in the U.S.
Dr. Landrum doesn’t fully understand why what he’s doing is unacceptable and refuses to surrender his medical license. “I grew up poor, and when the doctor would come to us, and he was happy to see us, I pictured myself doing that someday. I try not to ever turn people away — money or no money — because that’s where the need is.”
“I love that he’s here,” Karen Holt, who lives in Edwards, told Mississippi News Now. “He may not cure cancer, but he’s cured a lot of people of basic things… There’s a lot of poverty in Edwards, and there are many, many people here who do not have transportation to Vicksburg, Clinton, Jackson, and he truly serves a purpose.”
Dr. Landrum also spoke to Mississippi News Now, telling them, “I’ve done nothing wrong. Why be thrown under the bus when you’ve done nothing wrong and lose your livelihood, basically, for the rest of your life?”
You can help Dr. Landrum continue to serve the poor and disabled in his home state of Mississippi by clicking on this link and signing the petition.