A Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic, held at Richmond County Intermediate School on November 14 and 15, and sponsored by Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing program, provided free medical, dental, and vision care to 611 area patients, of every age from under one year to 89. Over 13 percent were children.
As Chef Hatley Bright, who coordinated food preparation for the event, said, “We served our community in a way that is life-changing. Carrie Lewis and Becky White [nursing professors] led the way with the organization part, but all of the nursing program needs to be complimented.”
Adding congratulations for the leaders of the entire Health Sciences department was Marlene Cralle, an RCC administrative assistant. “Your team had a dream and a vision to do something important for our community … and you did it!”
“We could not have done anything without the support of our volunteers,” said Becky White. A total of 520 volunteers — encompassing a variety of medical, dental, and vision specialties, plus emergency and nursing care, general support, and interpreters for patients speaking little or no English — donated 6,840 hours, which at normal rates would be valued at $354,166.20. In particular, volunteers from the Three Rivers Health Department administered 82 Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) shots, 20 PPV23 shots (against pneumococcal disease, which often leads to pneumonia), and 151 flu shots. The local Lions’ Club organized bus transportation for these and many other volunteers.
Patients came to the clinic from Essex (124 patients), Lancaster (27), Northumberland (91), Richmond (267), Westmoreland (86), and several more distant Virginia counties (15), while two came all the way from Tennessee. Slightly over half were African-American, with the remainder divided between Caucasian (32 percent) and Hispanic (14 percent). Many had not seen a doctor or a dentist, or had their eyesight checked, within the last five years or more. Over one thousand dental procedures were performed, and 373 of the vision patients went home with a new pair or pairs of glasses.
Many had not seen a doctor or a dentist, or had their eyesight checked, within the last five years or more. Over one thousand dental procedures were performed, and 373 of the vision patients went home with a new pair or pairs of glasses.
One of the patients stated, “I was amazed at how well organized and efficient it was.” Patients received numbers as soon as they arrived in the parking lot, and were conducted from one treatment station to the next by volunteers who were “outstanding: professional and very polite. It was a great experience, and I am already looking forward to next time.”
“I think we all walked hundreds of miles!” said RCC dual enrollment specialist Hutt Williams, who served as one of the volunteers. “It was an unbelievable community event.”
RAM is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “provide free quality health care to those in need.” Care is offered on a “first-come, first-served” basis to all comers, many of whom could not afford to pay for these services even if they were readily available so far from the abundant medical resources of cities. RCC hopes to sponsor more of these events in the future; the next date will be announced as soon as it is determined.
“Thank you for helping make this clinic a success!” says RAM volunteer coordinator Hope Tipton.
- 611 patients registered; all were triaged before receiving services
- 13.1% were children
- Value of care: $354,166.20
- 373 patients seen
- Glasses provided: 376
- 71% of patients had not seen a vision provider in the last year; 36% in the last 5 years, or did not remember the last time they received vision care.
- 2 opthalmic tech-COA/COT
- 4 ophthalmologists
- 1 optical tech
- 12 opticians
- 1 optometric tech
- 8 optometrists
- 18 vision students/support
Dentistry: 1026 procedures performed
- 393 patients treated
- 438 extractions
- 313 fillings
- 352 cleanings
- 65% of patients had not seen a dentist in the last year; 33% in the last 5 years, or did not remember the last time they received dental care.
- 25 dental assistants/students
- 12 hygienists
- 51 dentists/students
- 1 oral surgeon
- 359 patients received either a general medical exam or a specific exam for women’s health
- 29% of patients had not seen a medical provider in the last year; 15% in the last 5 years, or did not remember the last time they received medical care
- 1 doctor of osteopathy
- 8 medical doctors/students
- 9 nurse practitioners
- 2 radiology technicians
- 1 audiologist
- 1 chiropractor
- 104 nurses/students
- 3 paramedics
- 2 EMT Basic/Advanced
- 1 LPN
- 227 general volunteers
- 7 interpreters
Patients’ counties of residence:
- 267 from Richmond County: 44%
- 124 from Essex County: 20%
- 91 from Northumberland County: 15%
- 86 from Westmoreland County: 14%
- 27 from Lancaster County: 4%
- Other counties: less than 10 people each
- Tennessee: 2
- 52.5% African-American
- 32% Caucasian
- 14% Hispanic
- under 1 year to 89
- most between 44 and 63