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RAM marks one year since the death of founder, Stan Brock

Remote Area Medical marks one year since founder Stan Brock passed away. / Source (RAM)
Remote Area Medical marks one year since founder Stan Brock passed away. / Source (RAM)(WVLT)
Published: Aug. 29, 2019 at 8:34 AM EDT
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Stan Brock, founder and president of Remote Area Medical- RAM®,

passed away on August 29, 2018, but his legacy lives on in the continuing work of the organization he founded in 1985.

RAM's mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering by providing free quality healthcare to those in need. During his 33 year tenure with RAM, Brock had led the operation of more than 950 expeditions, serving more than 740,000 individuals.

While Brock's death was a great loss to the organization, he had built a strong team of devoted board members, staff, volunteers, and donors who remain committed to ensuring his legacy, mission, and caring continue until there is no more need.

Born in Preston, Lancashire, England in 1936, Stan Brock moved to British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1952 to become one of the world's most recognized

vaqueros

, or cowboys.

Through 1968, Brock managed The Dadanawa Ranch, the world's largest cattle ranch operation, a 4,000-square mile combination of rainforest and savannah. There, Brock became a skilled bush pilot and subsequently acquired numerous ratings and certifications including airline transport pilot.

It was during Brock's time in British Guiana that his vision for RAM was born. After being violently thrown off the back of a horse, Brock found he was 26 days on foot away from the nearest medical care. Brock survived the accident but went without any medical attention. He then vowed that he would one day bring medical care closer to the people who needed it.

In 1968, Brock arrived in the United States to begin a career in television and entertainment. That same year he began co-hosting NBC's Emmy winning series, "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," alongside Marlin Perkins.

At its height, "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" was one of the most-watched television shows in the country, with more than 32 million weekly viewers. Brock also went on to star in several full-length films and television series. Brock founded Remote Area Medical - RAM® in 1985 – keeping his promise to the Wapishana Indians in Guyana.

RAM was initially founded to serve as a safety net provider of free medical care in remote areas of developing countries like Guyana, but almost immediately after beginning operations, Brock began receiving

requests to operate free medical clinics in the United States. This ultimately led to the operation of the first American RAM clinic on May 9, 1992, in Sneedville, Tennessee.

Today, more than 800,000 individuals have received free care from 1,044 of RAM's expeditions and nearly 90% of all RAM operations take place domestically.

RAM still operates clinics in Guyana, providing free medical care to villagers in need of health care services, just as Brock needed in the early 1950s.

Reflecting on the legacy of Brock, RAM CEO Jeff Eastman said, "Stan was the greatest humanitarian that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was an amazing individual. He was always at it, and he cared about everybody, everywhere." Eastman said he is confident that the team will continue, as long as necessary, to bring medical care closer to the people who need it the most by rallying "neighbors helping

neighbors."

At a recent clinic in Kentucky, Garry, who drove 387 miles from southern Georgia to bring his son and daughter-in-law for much needed dental work, told of how they had arrived on Thursday evening for the clinic

on Saturday morning. When asked how they spent their time while waiting, Garry said "…we helped unload trucks, park cars, and hand out numbers." Receiving ticket numbers 1 and 2, the pair was able to receive the needed dental services and start the trip back to Georgia by late Saturday morning. Garry said, "They did a wonderful job. We appreciate y'all." Hope, his daughter-in-law, added, "Thank you, we appreciate it."

Stan's legacy of providing care for the underserved will continue to be championed by many, just like Garry who pitched in to help in any way that he could. Thousands of us will continue to load and unload trucks, set up dental chairs, fill teeth, make eyeglasses, provide medical counsel, and sound the alarm that there are far too many people in our communities who cannot access or afford dental, vision and medical care.

At so many RAM clinics, Stan would evaluate the crowd of those waiting to receive services and exhort his staff, "One more patient." We remain dedicated to opening the door to "one more patient" until there are no more waiting.

Join us going forward in continuing Stan Brock's legacy – volunteer, donate, help one more neighbor – so that RAM can continue preventing pain and alleviating suffering. Just as Stan would want us to do.

Find out more about how you can help by visiting the

or calling 865-579-1530.

RAM is a major non-profit organization that operates mobile clinics delivering free, high-quality, dental, vision, and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals who do not have access to or

cannot afford a doctor. Since RAM was founded in 1985, more than 145,000 volunteers -- comprised of licensed dental, vision, and medical professionals, as well as general support staff -- have treated more than 800,000 individuals delivering $140 million worth of free health care services. Last year, RAM held clinics in Tennessee, Alabama,

California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Haiti, and the Philippines. Upcoming RAM clinic locations include Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri, Nevada, Missouri and Kentucky.

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