ROCKFORD, TN (January 2, 2019) – Remote Area Medical- RAM® -- a major non-profit provider of mobile medical clinics delivering free, high-quality, dental, vision and medical care to underserved and uninsured individuals—is returning to Knoxville, TN for its 1,000th expedition. Services available at the RAM clinic include 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. Patients of the Knoxville RAM clinic will be able to register their unaltered household pets for free spay/neuter surgery, as well as vaccinations, City dog tags, and microchipping. Pets should not be taken to the RAM clinic. All RAM services are free, and no ID is required.
Remote Area Medical will operate its 1000th expedition at Chilhowee Park's Jacob Building, 3301 East Magnolia Avenue in Knoxville on February 1 - 3. Typically, RAM opens the patient parking lot (Gate #1) no later than 12 a.m. midnight on the first night of the event (Friday, February 1). 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 Saturday, February 2 and Sunday February 3. 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 the City of Knoxville is 26.5%, which far exceeds the national average of 12.7%. Additionally, nearly one out of every six people under the age of 65 lacks health insurance coverage. The Appalachian Regional Commission shows that people in these communities also suffer from a disproportionately higher prevalence of poor health and chronic health conditions, like Diabetes, COPD, and Hypertension. Because of these factors, RAM expects to treat approximately 1,000 people from Knoxville and surrounding communities during the three-day clinic.
"For the past 34 years RAM has called the Knoxville area home, and we simply would not be able to provide free care for tens of thousands of people around the globe each year with the kindness and support of this community. We are so excited to hold our 1,000th expedition, offering free dental, vision, medical, and veterinary care, right here where it all started in 1985," RAM CEO, Jeff Eastman said.
There is still a need for additional vision and dental professionals to volunteer their time and skills in Knoxville. Because of relaxed licensing laws in the state of Tennessee, professional volunteers do not have to have an active license in Tennessee, meaning practitioners from other states are welcome to provide care at the clinic. For more information about volunteering at a RAM mobile medical clinic, please visit ramusa.org or call 865-579-1530.
Since being founded in 1985 by the late Stan Brock, RAM has provided free care to more than 780,000 people and 68,000 animals. Of those, 1,865 patients and 75 pets were served by Remote Area Medical at its 5-day Knoxville clinic in 2018.