NBC / The Kelly Clarkson Show
A San Antonio doctor who's gotten local attention for practicing a direct care health care model
recently made his national debut.
Dr. Ray Altamirano, who runs Casa Salud Family Medicine Clinic
, was featured on Friday's episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show
. During the #WhatI'mLiking segment of the show, Clarkson gave a shoutout to Altamirano for his efforts to help his patients even beyond the clinic.
"A San Antonio doctor is giving new meaning to the phrase 'picture perfect health,'" Clarkson said.
She then went on to explain how Altamirano uses his passion for art to help his patients. The doctor creates paintings in his spare time and sells them, putting his earnings to toward bills his patients' may not be able to afford.
Altamirano told the Current
that an NBC affiliate in Seattle learned about his story and contacted him for a Skype interview. He thought he was going to talk to an executive producer, but was actually surprised to see Clarkson and her studio audience.
"My knees were shaking," Altamirano said.
His excitement is apparent, as he yells Kelly's name and calls her the "sweetheart of all of Texas."
He joked about giving up a modeling career to be doctor and explained that his clinic caters to underserved patients who sometimes need a little extra help.
"It's a beautiful thing," Clarkson gushes. "Of course you're Texan!"
"It was over in a blur," Altamirano said of his appearance on the show. "The junior producer informed me the entire piece was orchestrated as a gift from them to me for my efforts in San Antonio."
Altamirano has a Facebook page
dedicated to his art, which he described as "unapologetically Puro San Anto."
While the doctor called the TV exposure flattering, he said the best part of the project is that other community members are also helping cover patients' costs. Fellow artists are donating work, a barbecue pit master committed to cook for a fundraiser, other doctors are offering discounted services and local residents have donated to a PayPal fund for patients.
"This is what Casa Salud is all about: the human spirit to help each other," Altamirano said. "Nothing has ever felt so right. It's powerful what one's heart and huevos could do for this community."
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