A free mobile medical, dental and vision clinic will return to Charleston next month.
Remote Area Medical, a Tennessee-based nonprofit, is teaming up with West Virginia Health Right for the two-day clinic Oct. 20 and 21 at Bible Center School, 1111 Oakhurst Drive.
“We’ll see kids, anybody,” said Angie Settle, director and CEO of Health Right. “We don’t ask if you have insurance; it’s no questions asked. In fact, you can’t ask anybody about their income or if they have insurance. It’s just ... an open event for anybody in need.”
Patients don’t need to have identification to be seen.
The two-day clinic will provide free 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.
There will also be HIV and hepatitis C testing, hepatitis A vaccines, flu vaccines, naloxone training and distribution and limited medications.
Settle said volunteers — including medical doctors, eye doctors and dentists — are still needed. The clinic also needs laypeople for nonmedical tasks. About 280 volunteers total have signed up so far.
“We have to feed like 400 volunteers lunch two days and dinner [for] two days,” Settle said. “[We need] people to help work the kitchen area, people to direct traffic and tell people where to go and that kind of thing.”
Settle said the number of volunteers will determine how many patients the clinic can see.
Settle said the clinic especially needs dentist volunteers this year.
This is the third year the RAM clinic will be in the Charleston area. In 2016 it was held at Elkview Middle School and last year it was at Bible Center School.
In 2017, RAM treated 512 patients in Charleston and provided more than $221,000 worth of free care, the organization said in a news release.
RAM does about 60 free clinics each year, spokesman Robert Lambert said. Lambert said the clinics draw all kinds of people — employed and unemployed alike.
According to the news release, RAM typically opens the parking lot at the clinic at midnight the night before the first day. Beginning at 3 a.m., tickets are distributed to patients and then patients are seen in order of their ticket numbers when doors open at 6 a.m. The process is the same Sunday morning.
Lambert said there’s usually a big demand for the clinic, but organizers will distribute tickets to only the number of people it can treat that day. People won’t have to worry about waiting all day and then not being seen, he said.
“We kind of have it down to a science,” he said.
For information about volunteering for the clinic, visit www.ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530. Health Right can be reached at 304-414-5930.
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