RCC, RAM FREE Medical Clinic Serves Local Community

On a recent Friday in November, a tractor trailer pulled up to Richmond County Elementary School and volunteers began unloading medical equipment and supplies to fulfill a 48-hour mission to provide as much free health care as possible. Remote Area Medical (RAM)—a major nonprofit of free pop-up clinics—coordinated with Rappahannock Community College (RCC) and the elementary school and began work setting up the clinic.

Volunteers carted dental supplies and vision equipment, sheets and blankets, medical supplies, and countless other items into the school. They transformed the gymnasium into a 25-unit dental clinic, complete with space for its x-ray team. Hallways became waiting areas, classrooms became exam rooms, vaccine clinics, a food pantry, and clothing and toy giveaway areas, even an area to make eyeglasses.

The pop-up clinics see patients on a first-come, first-served basis and allow registration to begin at midnight on Friday. The first patients are called in at 6 a.m. Saturday morning. RCC Chef Hatley Bright and instructor Wendy Hyde were on site all weekend to feed the volunteers and provide snacks and to-go lunches for the patients.

This year’s Warsaw RAM clinic was led by Stacie Wind, Program Director of the Rappahannock Area Health Education Center (RAHEC) which is located at RCC. “The Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula have very high rates of need, especially for medical and dental treatments,” said Wind. “Bringing RAM to the area provides the necessary services for uninsured or underinsured, and no ID is required to receive treatment.”

It takes a village to implement an event of this magnitude, and Wind’s team worked tirelessly to seek businesses, nonprofits, churches, governmental organizations, and individuals who would donate funds, food or time, and sometimes all three, in addition to creating awareness for potential patients, and organizing everything from securing providers to managing the clinic layout.

Nursing, medical, and dental students from RCC, William and Mary, UVA, Duke, Penn State and other schools played an important role. While some students operated in the logistical space, others were on the front lines of treatment, working triage including checking blood pressures, temperatures, blood glucose levels, and conducting medical history interviews before sending a patient to receive care. “It was a great way to go out in the field and put our nursing skills to use,” said one nursing student.

By midday Sunday, when all those waiting had received treatment, 211 people had received over $100,000 in free medical, dental, and vision services. More than 450 volunteers, some local, others travelling from out-of-state, helped make this RAM clinic a success.

“We’re pleased with the amount of patients served and services rendered,” said Wind. “We haven’t hosted a clinic since 2019 due to the pandemic but we’ve learned a lot and plan a bigger and better clinic next fall.”

In addition to numerous donations by individuals, RCC would like to thank the following partners who helped make RAM free clinic successful:

 

Businesses:

Anthem Health Keepers

Blue Ridge Bank

Bourne & Sons Janitorial

Buckler Bread Inc.

Chesapeake Bank

Clements Tent Rentals, Inc.

Food Lion

Fulcrum Concepts

Garner’s Produce

Long Metalwork & Machine Inc.

Lynn Marine Construction, Inc.

Northern Neck Lumber

PET Dairy (Robert Scott III)

River City Golf Carts

River Party Company

Schmidt Baking Co.

Subway

Sysco

VCU Health Tappahannock

Walmart

Waste Management

 

Churches:

Beale Memorial Church

Bethany Baptist Church

Grace Episcopal Church

Milden Presbyterian Church

Rappahannock Church of Christ

 

Government:

Essex County

Northumberland County Board of Supervisors

Richmond County

Richmond County Department of Emergency Services

Richmond County Fire Department

Three Rivers Health District

Town of Warsaw

Town of Warsaw Police Department

 

Media:

101.7 BayFM

104.9 WIGO

105.5 WRAR

HotMix VA

Northern Neck News

Northumberland Echo

Rappahannock Record

Rappahannock Times

 

Non-Profits:

Abingdon Ruritan Club

Callao Volunteer Fire Department

Callao Moose Lodge

Callao Women of the Moose

Healthy Harvest

Kiwanis Club of the Northern Neck

Northumberland County Republican Committee

Richmond County Public Library

Tappahannock Moose Lodge

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Warsaw-Bauman Masonic Lodge

Westmoreland Masonic Lodge

 

Schools:

Duke RAM Chapter

Penn State RAM Chapter

Randolph Macon Nursing students

Rappahannock Community College

Richmond County Public Schools

Southern Virginia University students

University of Buffalo Dental students

UVA Medical Students

William and Mary RAM Chapter

 

About Remote Area Medical: RAM is a major nonprofit organization that operates pop-up clinics delivering free, 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 173,000 volunteers –comprised of licensed dental, vision, and medical professionals, as well as general support staff — have treated more than 863,000 individuals delivering $174 million worth of free healthcare services. For media inquiries about the upcoming clinic please email communications@ramusa.org.

About RAHEC: Rappahannock Area Health Education Center’s mission is to recruit, train, and retain health professionals by connecting students to careers, professionals to communities, and communities to better care.