Big effort to run area’s first Remote Area Medical Clinic
Laura Hunt Trull, an assistant professor of social work at James Madison University, has helped spearhead the effort to bring the clinic to the Shenandoah Valley for the first time.
“This event can only happen with the dedicated teamwork of community members and organizations, including the RMH Foundation, the Community Foundation, United Way, JMU College of Health and Behavioral Studies and hundreds of businesses, churches and volunteers who have given generous donations, packed lunches and will give their time around the clock to bring these needed services to hundreds of patients in our community,” Hull said.
According to U.S. census data, the poverty rate in the city of Harrisonburg is 23.3 percent, far exceeding the national average of 12.7 percent. Of those under age 65, about one in six is without health insurance. The poverty rate in Staunton is 13.3 percent and in Waynesboro it is 17.4 percent.
Because of these factors, RAM expects to treat more than 600 people from Harrisonburg and surrounding communities during the two-day clinic.
About Remote Area Medical
Remote Area Medical is an organization based in Knoxville, Tenn., that collaborates with host groups all around the country to hold its clinics. Services available at the RAM clinic include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental X-rays, eye exams, eyeglasses prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women’s health exams and general medical exams.
A clinic typically serves upwards of 500 patients in a weekend and requires the services of more than 500 volunteers, from dentists and hygienists to nurses, physicians, social workers and general support. In addition to medical services, volunteers escort patients from one station to the next, organize parking, make meals, distribute packed lunches, serve as language interpreters and more.
Patient parking for the Harrisonburg RAM clinic will be at the fairgrounds, located at 4808 S Valley Pike, Harrisonburg. The clinic parking lot will open no later than 12 a.m. March 2. Ticket distribution for free services begins at 3 a.m., and patients will be seen in chronological order according to their ticket number when clinic doors open at 6 a.m. This process will repeat on Sunday, March 3. People who desire services should arrive as early as possible.
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