His hands healed thousands, his love reached many more and now, even after death, Dr. Hal Belknap’s legacy is growing.
Norman residents are working with Ugandan health officials to open the Doctor B Health Clinic in Africa. But they need help. At 7 p. m. on April 18 a benefit concert to raise money for the clinic will be held at the First Baptist Church located at 211 West Comanche in Norman.
Belknap lost his life last spring after a short illness. He was 73. In seven decades, Belknap dedicated his life to his family, medicine, the Norman community and Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop 777, which he founded with his wife JoAnn. The couple made it their mission to help the youth of Norman grow into caring and constructive adults.
Dr. Brian Yeaman is one of the scouts Belknap helped guide through young adulthood.
“He built my confidence and opened my eyes to opportunity that may have otherwise eluded me,” Yeaman said. “He helped me accomplish my dreams of becoming a physician and a caretaker of our community.”
Yeaman is a partner at Belknap’s Norman Clinic and also heads the Medical Explorer Post Belknap developed at Norman Regional Hospital. He says having a clinic in Uganda that will save the lives of underprivileged children would have made Belknap more than proud.
“Dr. Belknap would have been humbly honored. The clinic will improve health services for an impoverished area of tremendous need, some who otherwise would not have access to a physician.”
Yeaman says one of the most treasured aspects of the Uganda clinic to Belknap would have been to the opportunity to give deserving young men and women from Norman and the surrounding region the chance to go to Uganda and participate in patient care.
“Dr. B believed and was certain these types of opportunities often define a young person's transition to adulthood and develop their confidence, aspirations and interpersonal skills,” noted Yeaman.
Belknap was passionate about many things including music. Nationally recognized and award winning musicians will be performing at the April 18th benefit concert. The classical program will include Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Bizet and will be performed by Erin Yeaman, cellist; Cynthia Cortright, piano; Amy Cheng, piano; Chad Burrow, clarinet and Larry Reed, bassoon.
You can help share and spread Belknap’s passion to those who are in dire need of medical care in Africa by attending the benefit concert on April 18. Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.