ROCKFORD, Tenn. (WATE) — Mobile medical care provider Remote Area Medical will host its annual Knoxville clinic Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at the Jacob’s Building, 3301 E. Magnolia Ave., in Chilhowee Park.
More than 7,200 individuals in East Tennessee received care from RAM in 2019 with a total value of more than $3.8 million.
Last year, RAM provided services to nearly 1,543 individuals throughout the three-day clinic in Knoxville. RAM expects to serve as many patients again this year.
“We are glad to be providing care again this year in Knoxville, the city that RAM has been calling home since our founding in 1985,” RAM CEO Jeff Eastman said. “RAM will continue to help fill the gaps for those who don’t have access to a dentist or eye doctor because they can’t afford one, and it means a lot to bring the community together in our own backyard to provide for those in need. Neighbors helping neighbors.”
The nonprofit provides dental, vision and medical care to underserved and uninsured individuals across the world. All services are free and no ID is required. Services available at the RAM clinic include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental X-rays, eye exams, glaucoma testing, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women’s health exams, and general medical exams.
New colon screenings available
New this year, the Knoxville clinic will kick off RAM’s colon cancer screening program. The screenings are being offered thanks to the support of Olympus Corporation of the Americas.
“Just like many communities around the country, there are people in Knox County who are struggling,” Kaylen Mallard, RAM chief development officer, said. “We are very grateful for organizations like Olympus, who support RAM’s work to help people around the country.”
The clinic parking lot is scheduled to open at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Tickets will be distributed beginning at 3 a.m. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis in numerical order, according to their ticket number. Clinic doors open no later than 6 a.m. This process will repeat on Saturday, Feb. 1, and then again on Sunday, Feb. 2.
In some situations, such as inclement weather, volunteer cancellations, or other circumstances outside of RAM’s control, ticketing may occur earlier than 3 a.m. RAM encourages everyone who would like services, especially dental services, to arrive as early as possible.
According to U.S. Census data for Knox County, approximately 13.2% of the population in 2018 was living in poverty, a rate that exceeds the national average of 11.8%, and in Knoxville proper, the rate of individuals living in poverty was 26.6%.
Because of these factors, RAM expects to see great demand from residents in Knoxville and neighboring counties throughout this year’s three-day clinic.
RAM is still in need of dental providers and dental hygienists to volunteer their time and skills for the Knoxville clinic. For more information about RAM’s mobile clinics or to volunteer, please visit www.ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530.
RAM has treated more than 834,000 individuals delivering $150 million worth of free healthcare services. Last year, RAM held clinics in Tennessee, Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and the Bahamas.
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