RAM Serves 456 at South Fentress

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

Remote Area Medical  (RAM) paid a visit to Fentress County over the weekend and held a two day medical clinic at South Fentress Elementary School. Patients were seen in order of arrival and were given access to free, high-quality medical, dental, vision or veterinary care. The Clinic took place over the course of two days, and was widely publicized in media on the local, state, and national level.

The Fentress County Hope Foundation hosted Remote Area Medical and their volunteers while they conducted thew clinic. Kim Davidson is a Hope Foundation volunteer who doubled as a RAM Volunteer over the weekend and was instrumental in the successful execution of the clinic:

“We knew about the RAM clinics in other communities and when inquiring about how we could get one here it became apparent that having a solid host organization was crucial. The volunteers will provide the medical care, but it is up to community organizations to host the volunteers, feed them, and provide them with lodging during their stay. The Hope foundation has tackled big projects like this in the past and proven that we are capable of manning something like this, so we presented a lot of information to them in order to assure them that we could do it and then began working out dates and locations. It all came together very well. When you plan anything you hope people will show up, and showing up here and seeing the parking lot full is just phenomenal. We just wish we could have helped more people. It is great to see so many people get help, but there are some who didn’t get to get help, especially with dental, we just didn’t have the provider volunteers to see more people. Based on all the feedback we’ve had I think we are hoping to try to do this again as soon as we can. It is hard work, but everyone that I have talked to wants to try and do this again at some point. It’s hard work but its worth it.” Davidson said. “We really cannot thank our churches and the community enough!”

Robert Lambert, RAM’s Public Relations Specialist, lauded the performance of the volunteers, and the success of the clinic overall:

“This clinic has been absolutely fantastic, we have hundreds of volunteers here, and hundreds of people receiving services they need. We, along with the Hope Foundation, identified a need for our services here, and from there we moved forward. We are very committed to Appalachia and Appalachian communities. Remote Area Medical was founded in east Tennessee in 1985 and currently about 20 of our approximately 60 clinics per year happen within the State of Tennessee.”

This clinic was the first RAM clinic to be conducted following the recent passing of Remote Area Medical’s founder, the celebrated philanthropist Stan Brock. However, in spite of Mr. Brock’s passing, RAM professionals were adamant that their zeal for providing healthcare services to underserved communities has not diminished.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.