A local business is shutting its doors after 30 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Travel Medicine Clinic in Rancho Mirage has provided residents with vaccinations for decades.
The man behind the clinic, in a final act of kindness, will be donating the medical equipment for use on future humanitarian missions. Edward Lister is a registered nurse who has been providing Coachella Valley locals with vaccinations for the past 30 years.
His Business, Travel Medicine Clinic offers people who are planning more involved trips, vaccinations against exotic diseases.
“It’s actually come to a screeching halt, were just not seeing any international travelers, I don’t see it in the near future either. I guess I need to act my age and start to retire,” explained Lister
At 75 years old, Lister says he wasn’t thinking about shutting his doors, but Covid-19 changed that very quickly.
He said he is proud to have served the community and is sad to say goodbye.
“When I see them, again it’s like family, I spend like about an hour with them, advising them how to stay safe on their travels. I think they’re afraid they’re not going to get the kind of care anymore,” added Lister
“Over the years I’ve gotten shots for cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, meningitis. I don’t really know exactly where I will go at this point. I know there’s a clinic in Loma Linda, but that’s a hassle,” said Jeff Crider, Communications Director with IMA Helps.
Jeff Crider has been a patient of Lister’s for years, he worries where the community will go no that the clinic is closing. Before closing, Lister will be donating the clinic’s medical equipment to help with future medical humanitarian missions.
“IMA Helps is a nonprofit organization that organizes medical humanitarian missions primarily in Central and South America. the equipment that Edward is providing to us will be equipment that we can, in turn, donate to some of these hospitals where we work overseas that need this kind of equipment because they don’t have it, their lacking,” explained Crider.
Lister says he will miss his patients and had some farewell advice for fighting this pandemic.
“My patients or travelers, so many of them are like family and it’s hard to say goodbye to them. it’s hard to tell but I think when we get a vaccine things are going to look up, we’ve got to wear a mask and stay our distance and that sort of thing. everybody needs to do it so that we can get back to what we are used to doing,” said Lister.
Lister tells NBC Palm Springs there are other travel clinics that are hanging in there, you can find them by visiting the International Society of Travel website here: https://www.istm.org/