News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
TUESDAY, JULY 31, 2007

Foundation honoring volunteer pharmacist

Ray Norris of Decatur is in Germany, but the staff at the Community Free Clinic of Decatur-Morgan County is celebrating his selection as a Daily Point of Light.

The Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network in Washington, D.C., honors one volunteer each weekday. Norris is recognized Tuesday. The award recognizes volunteers making a commitment to their communities through service.

Norris is a volunteer pharmacist for the Community Free Clinic.

"Ray gives so much of himself to the clinic and to the community," said Debbie Griffin, director of the clinic. "He is very deserving of the award."

Griffin said Norris was on the original steering committee for the clinic.

A pharmacist, he worked with the clinic before it opened in May 2004. Norris started volunteering after retiring from his retail business in Decatur.

"We have the pharmacy thanks to Ray," Griffin said.

Norris donated all his equipment and arrived at the clinic with some of his staff. This gave the clinic a licensed, state board-approved pharmacy rather than a dispensary like most other clinics in the state. The pharmacy has given more than $2.5 million in free medication to clinic patients.

"Ray's just a good guy," Griffin said. "He's here every morning before the doors open."

The clinic has chronic patients with diabetes and hypertension who have been unable to get their medications regularly.

They suffer the long-term effects of uncontrolled chronic illnesses.

- Emily Peck

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