RAM to offer free dental, vision, medical services May 1-2

Published 1:14 pm Tuesday, April 27, 2021

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Remote Area Medical (RAM), a major nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics delivering dental, vision and medical care to underserved and uninsured individuals, will return to Morristown, TN, this weekend, May 1- 2, to provide free care.

RAM services require no identification. Free dental, vision and medical services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

To fulfill its goal of treating as many people as possible, RAM is still in need of licensed vision professionals to volunteer during the clinic weekend.

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The free clinic, in collaboration with members of the local community, will be held at Walters State Community College, located at 500 S. Davy Crockett Pkwy, Morristown, TN 37813.

The Morristown Community Host Group (CHG) was organized in the spring of 2019 and includes individuals from a variety of backgrounds who volunteer their time and expertise to bring RAM to Morristown.

“We are glad to be working with RAM to bring this important care to our community for the first time,” said John Vasquez, Community Host Group chairperson. “There is a lot of need, so we look forward to seeing people come out to receive these free services.”

Available services will include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental x-rays, women’s health exams, general medical exams and free eyeglasses with a valid prescription from the past year. Eye exams, glaucoma testing and free eyeglasses (with a valid prescription) will also be offered on Sunday.

The Tennessee Department of Health will be on-site to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine set to be available to the general public on both Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 7 a.m. All patients who receive a vaccine will have a scheduled appointment to receive their second dose before they leave the clinic site.

In response to COVID-19, RAM has incorporated and developed new disinfecting and safety processes. All patients will be required to wear a face covering and must undergo a COVID-19 screening before entering the clinic. Guests and family members of patients will not be allowed to enter the building. New air flow, disinfecting processes and capacity limitations have also been put in place to ensure the safety of patients, staff and volunteers.

Due to time constraints, patients should be prepared to choose between dental and vision services. Free medical services are offered in addition to the dental or vision services during the weekend.

The patient parking lot will open no later than 12:01 a.m. on May 1 and remain open. As patients arrive at the parking lot, they will be provided with additional information regarding clinic opening processes and next steps. Patients should be prepared with their own food, water, medicines and clothing when arriving early. Bathrooms will be provided.

Clinic doors open at 6 a.m. on May 1.  This process will repeat on May 2.

RAM encourages everyone who would like services, especially dental services, to arrive as early as possible. In some situations, such as inclement weather, volunteer cancellations, or other circumstances outside of RAM’s control, the parking lot may open earlier or a smaller number of patients served. *Clinic closing time may vary based on each service area’s daily capacity. Please check RAM’s clinic FAQ page for more information.

“Remote Area Medical is glad to be able to return to help bring free services to those in need in the Morristown community. This has been a challenging year for most, and there is more need for access to healthcare than ever before,” said RAM CEO Jeff Eastman. “Thank you to all the volunteers who are coming to help their neighbors in need.”

Since RAM’s founding in 1985, more than 863,000 individuals have received free services.

RAM is a major nonprofit organization that operates pop-up clinics delivering free, quality, dental, vision and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals who do not have access to or cannot afford a doctor. Since its founding, more than 173,000 volunteers –comprised of licensed dental, vision, and medical professionals, as well as general support staff — have treated more than 863,000 individuals delivering $174 million worth of free healthcare services.

RAM has held clinics in Tennessee, Louisiana, Idaho, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Guyana, Haiti and the Bahamas.

Optometrists and ophthalmologists who are interested in volunteering can do so by emailing: marybrown@ramusa.org.

For more information about volunteering at a RAM pop-up medical clinic, visit www.ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530.