Remote Area Medical has reached a milestone as they prepare to host their 1,000th free medical clinic in Knoxville, just a few months after the nonprofit’s founder Stan Brock died.
RAM has been serving people all around the world for more than three decades by offering free medical, dental and vision services.
“RAM is really kind of a stop gap. We fill the gaps of some of the people that are missed of not being able to get access to care whether it’s they can’t afford care or they can’t make it to a professional office. We’re able to address that by using volunteer providers,” said RAM COO Chris Hall.
For all those years RAM has called East Tennessee home, so it is only fitting that as they plan their 1000th clinic it be held in Knoxville.
“We kind of waited everything out, and it actually worked out perfectly for it to fall here in Knoxville,” Hall said.
Since its beginning RAM has provided free care to more than 780,000 people and 68,000 animals.
The Appalachian Regional Commission says people in the communities RAM serves have much higher rates of things like diabetes, COPD and hypertension.
“The patients that show up at the event, they’re in pain, they’re in need. These are patients that are your everyday people. They’re your mothers, brothers, cousins, family members, the clerk at the grocery store. These are everyday people that come and they just need that service. They need a little bit of a lift to be able to get something they couldn’t get on their own,” Hall said.
This 1000th clinic is a way to keep reaching more people with those services which is the mission that RAM’s late founder had in mind. Brock passed away last August.
“Mr. Brock was very much for us treating our neighbors, our people in the backyard, the people right here in our hometown, so it kind of works out well that clinic 1,000 falls that way,” Hall said.
The 1,000th clinic will be held February 1-3 at Chilhowee Park’s Jacob Building. Ticket distribution will begin at 3:00 a.m. each day. Doors typically open at 6:00 a.m.
RAM is also still looking for volunteers. For more information visit www.ramusa.org.