Remote Area Medical to Provide FREE Health Care Services

September 23, 2010
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster

The Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps is returning to DeKalb County on Saturday and Sunday, November 13th & 14th at DeKalb County High School providing free health care services to people of all ages regardless of income. A similar event took place in DeKalb County at the high school in August, 2005.

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is a non-profit, volunteer corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world.

Founded in 1985, Remote Area Medical is a publicly supported all-volunteer charitable organization. Volunteer doctors, nurses, and support workers participate in expeditions (at their own expense). Medical supplies, medicines, facilities and vehicles are donated.

County Mayor Mike Foster says the November clinic will be open to anyone, no matter where you live. There are also no income guidelines. All you have to do is show up. "We had this remote area medical clinic here a few years ago. That year they treated, checked, or had dealings with about six hundred or seven hundred people. I believe they pulled about eight hundred or nine hundred teeth, prepared two hundred or three hundred pairs of glasses, and did lot of other things. I know of one woman they discovered had breast cancer and she was referred to a doctor. They told me that this absolutely saved her life. Because of the economy, they're expecting maybe 1,200 patients this year."

"They're planning on having about forty doctors here. Some of them will check eyesight, some will be dentists, and it's all free to the public. There will also be some other checks and screenings for things like blood pressure, and general health concerns."

"We're looking for volunteers from the medical profession to assist. The last word I heard is that they are hoping to have forty doctors here. They do extractions, pull teeth. They fill teeth. They check your eyes. They offer free glasses and they grind them on site and provide them. We don't know for sure yet but we think they will have a truck there to provide mammography services. "

"Again it's all free to people inside or outside the county but we have to seek donations to help pay for the hotel expenses for the doctors. We would ask that some of the churches help provide meals on Saturday and Sunday, November 13th & 14th."

"It's going to be at the high school. They'll come in on Friday, November 12th and get everything set up. There'll be people (patients) lined up all night I'm sure, there always are. We actually had this set up for January but they had a cancellation and moved it up to November so the weather should be better. We applied four years ago (for this visit) so it's something that's hard (to get scheduled) but it's a very useful thing."

"If anybody wants to donate their time, we need about one hundred people to actually help fill out forms and assist doctors. We need people from all walks of life but especially if you are a dentist assistant, if you work for an optometrist, if you work for a doctor, any of those type people, we need you. Of course, we need doctors, dentists, and eye doctors too. Anyone who wants to volunteer for this, you may donate as much or as little time as you want to."

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