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The Doctor Makes House Calls

 While millions of Americans go without health care because they can't afford it, CBS News has found at least one corner of America where being poor is no barrier to obtaining medical attention.


It is the corner where Dr. Kenneth Williams practices his American dream. CBS News Anchor Dan Rather reports.


Williams was a small child in Mississippi during the height of the civil rights movement and the prejudice he witnessed made his dream to make his mark in medicine in that state even stronger.


"I came to Holly Springs in '92," Williams says, adding that he started out in a trailer. "I was told by several people, white and black, that a black physician couldn't make it in Holly Springs."


"Being a black man in America in the state of Mississippi who takes care of white, black, Hispanic (people) and (who) does it with passion and pleasure, without prejudice, says something to the rest of America," Williams says.


"We probably see in the office anywhere between 100 and 150 patients a day," he says.


Williams cares for almost all the people of Holly Springs. "Health care should not be a class-oriented privilege," he declares.


"They need more like him. And if he ever left, I would just have to follow him wherever he went," says Doris Moore.


When people are too sick to come to him, he is one of the few doctors in America who still makes house calls.


"I hate the term, 'You can't do.' Let's get up off our fannies and do it and do what we are supposed to do and take care of our people," he says.


So when financial failure forced the closure of the only hospital within 50 miles of Holly Springs, Williams scraped together his own money to reopen it though it put him in debt.


But in William's eyes, one can't put a price on improving the health of his community.


Says one observer: "They took a big chore on here. This hospital had a poor reputation. He has the greatest group of people in here, and that is what is going to make this hospital."


But for Williams, the key to his and the hospital's success is simple: "When you have the confidence in your community that you are going to take care of them, the rest will fall into place," he says.


"If we don't take good care of patients and don't take care of them with the best of our abilities, we have nothing," he adds.


Williams has one more dream - that 10 years from now, when someone checks the record, it will show that the health of his community has improved in every category.
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