RAM returning to Charleston for free mobile medical clinics
CHARLESTON — Remote Area Medical, or RAM, a major nonprofit provider of mobile medical clinics delivering free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and uninsured individuals, is returning to Charleston in October.
In partnership with West Virginia Health Right, the clinic in Charleston will offer dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental x-rays, eye exams, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women’s health exams and general medical exams. All RAM services are free, and no ID is required.
Remote Area Medical, along with West Virginia Health Right, will operate at Bible Center School, 1111 Oakhurst Drive, Charleston, on Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 20-21. Typically, RAM opens the clinic parking lot no later than midnight on the first night of the event, Saturday, Oct. 20. Ticket distribution usually begins at 3 a.m., and patients are then served in chronological order according to their ticket number when clinic doors open, which typically occurs at 6 a.m. This process will repeat on Sunday. 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, the poverty rate in Charleston is 20 percent, which far exceeds the national average of 12.7 percent. Additionally, more than 1 out of 10 people under the age of 65 lacks health insurance coverage. Because of these factors, RAM expects to treat more than 500 people from Charleston and surrounding communities during the twoday clinic.
This is the third time RAM has visited Charleston, treating 512 patients last year totaling $221,000 of free care.
There is still a need for additional vision and dental professionals to volunteer their time and skills in Charleston. Because of relaxed licensing laws in the state of West Virginia, professional volunteers do not have to have an active license in West Virginia, meaning practitioners from other states are welcome to provide care at the Charleston clinic. For more information about volunteering at a RAM mobile medical clinic, visit www.ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530.