2019 Remote Area Medical in Rhea County Brings Smiles

Several of the large group of dentists at TuFts Dental School sits down to talk after a long two days of dispensing dental servides at the RAM clinic at Rhea Medical School last week.(Photo:GaryBolden/RheaReview)

Third Time RAM Event Has Been Hosted at Rhea Middle School

March 2019

Evensville, TN — The Remote Area Medical Event held last weekend in Rhea County at the Rhea Middle School gymnasium brought together 400 volunteers from all over the world.  The free services offered by the many doctors, dentist, nurses, optometrist and other volunteers included Dental, Medical, and vision services.  Those services included teeth extractions, repair and cleaning, vision checks and glasses made, medical preventative services including kidney checks, blood pressure, diatebes blood tests, and other services.  Thanks to RAM there are a lot more smiles in Rhea County today.

During the two days there were 274 glasses made on site, 509 extractions, 85 fillings, 46 cleanings and 143 medical exams.  A total to 568 adults and children were seen(30 of those children).  The estimated core value of the services rendered was $228,639.00.

For those who did not get a chance to be served, they can attend the next clinic which is this weekend at Cookeville High School in Cookeville, Tennessee.

But beyond the statistics were the lives impacted by the services.  For many people, even with health care available for most, there are these who just cannot afford these services.  Dental costs even with insurance can be high and cost for glasses is high.

I am glad to see people receiving and I am also glad to see those who are doing the giving.  Volunteers in the volunteer state  seems right.  But many of the volunteers come from far away to administer these services.  A group of international students came to the clinic to do free dental work.  These students were from Morocco, India, Venezuela and other places far from the United States.  Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) offers a diverse, interdisciplinary, and patient-centered educational environment renowned throughout the world. Since its founding in 1868.

Even those from the United States were from places far from Tennessee.  I talked to a nurse,  Christopher Chrisman, who drove eleven hours from Hershey Pennsylvannia to be at the clinic.  There were students from different colleges around the area and beyond that were getting a chance to give back.

There were more stories than a reporter can publish, but each one has a place in the heart of those served and those who appreciate those who give back.

Remote Area Medical(RAM) Chief Operating Officer and other RAM staff members were on hand to help organize and run the event.

RAM CEO Jeff Eastman   said, “We are here in Rhea Medical for the 1004th(estimated) clinic.  We have treated over 500 patients so far.  We were here three years ago.  We have had volunteers from several Universities helping us.  It has been a really good clinic despite the weather.”

Jeff Eastman – Chief Executive Officer of Remota Area Medical

“RAM is headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee and we have been doing the clinics for 35 years.  RAM was founded by Stan Brock.  He had some health issues and decided when he could he wanted to give back.”

“First clinic in US was Sneedville, Tennessee.  Since then we have done clinics all over Florida, Texas, upstate New York, California and all around the United States.  We do disaster response.  We have responded to needs in Haiti and Puerto Rico.  We are a volunteer force.  We have four staff members here today and almost 400 volunteers.”

“Sixty Five percent of what we do is dental.”

“We take no government funding in our clinic operation.  We operate on private individual and foundations”

The non-profit organization is always looking for help in three ways.  On their wesite, you have the opportunity to donate, volunteer or host a clinic.

Christine Ralph, the Rhea County United Way Director said, “We began planning this event last year and we had almost 400 volunteers this year.

Check out their info on their RAM website: RemoteAreaMedical.org

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is a major nonprofit provider of free mobile clinics. Our mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering by providing free, quality healthcare to those in need. We do this by delivering free dental, vision, and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals. RAM’s Corps of more than 135,000 volunteers–licensed dental, vision, medical, and veterinary professionals–have treated more than 785,000 individuals and 68,000 animals, delivering $135 million worth of free health care services.

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