Over the weekend, Sept. 23 and 24, some 189 particular person sufferers acquired over $86,000 in free dental, imaginative and prescient and medical care throughout Distant Space Medical (RAM) clinic held at Jefferson County Excessive College.
This was the second time Emory College scholar volunteers have served because the neighborhood host group to carry such a clinic to Georgia. In 2021 RAM served 219 sufferers and offered over $120,000 of comparable free healthcare providers together with 88 made-to-order pairs of glasses.
“The primary purpose we selected Louisville is as a result of quite a lot of rural communities in Georgia have restricted entry to well being care,” mentioned Shivani Lam, the present Co-President of Emory RAM, a gaggle of faculty college students who journey to volunteer at RAM clinics all through america a number of instances a yr. “A number of the agricultural counties have healthcare supplier ratios decrease than the statewide common and quite a lot of our rural hospitals are at excessive threat of closure. We wished to place our clinic in a kind of communities the place there was an awesome want.”
Host teams like Lam’s coordinate with RAM to prepare clinics like this, raiding funds and recruiting volunteer medical professionals from the encircling space to offer free dental, imaginative and prescient and medical take care of anybody who reveals up with out even asking for identification.
“A number of the people who come to clinics like this are underinsured or uninsured, so dental and imaginative and prescient exams aren’t actually lined by their insurance coverage,” Lam mentioned. “Now we have quite a lot of sufferers who’ve gone over 10 years or possibly by no means have had a dental or imaginative and prescient examination. Due to stats like that, we actually wished to revisit Louisville.”
Brad Hutchins, the RAM Clinic Coordinator for the Jefferson County clinic, mentioned that 176 volunteers supported the occasion. Round 60 of the volunteers got here from Emory.
“At this one we made glasses for sufferers. We offered extractions, fillings and cleanings and provided medical exams. Dental is normally probably the most requested, however at this explicit clinic, there was simply as a lot want for medical as there was for dental,” Hutchins mentioned. “Sometimes the medical providers we offer aligns with what you’ll see at pressing care. We additionally had girls’s well being and provided pap smears.”
Lots of the optometrists and physicians current had been from Emory College. Each facutly and college students from the Dental School of Georgia in Augusta offered these providers.
“We additionally had volunteers who got here down from their very own personal practices to help the clinic and we actually admire them as nicely,” Lam mentioned.
Leigh Davis, Jefferson County Division of Public Well being’s Nurse Supervisor, arrange a useful resource sales space on the occasion at hand out free Covid exams and let attendees know what providers they may get on the county well being division.
“After they did this earlier than we ended up with some hypertension referrals for individuals who didn’t have medical health insurance,” Davis mentioned. “We had been there letting folks know that providers don’t should cease right here, you possibly can go to the well being division and proceed some issues.”
By means of the county well being division girls who’re over 40, shouldn’t have medical health insurance and revenue qualify can obtain free mammograms and pap smears by way of their Breast and Cervical Most cancers Program.
Davis mentioned that she was impressed with the size and thoroughness of the RAM clinic arrange at Jefferson County Excessive College.
“They’d interpreters there who additionally served as, like, chaperones, who not interpreted for sufferers at registration but in addition directed them as to the subsequent steps and the place they had been presupposed to go,” Davis mentioned. “It was huge they usually had folks volunteering from throughout.” Most people Davis and her representatives talked to had been from Jefferson, Burke and Washington counties, however there was one household who had pushed down from Savannah.
“These clinics are such a pleasure as a result of it’s so stunning to see healthcare suppliers and volunteers from totally different cities and backgrounds come collectively and supply these communities with the sources they want,” Lam mentioned. “We undoubtedly need to proceed holding clinics in rural Georgia. We’re undecided whether or not we can have it in Louisville once more, however we’re going to attempt to improve the frequency of them as a result of there may be such an awesome want and we need to assist out as a lot as doable.”