Remote Area Medical visits Cleveland for free healthcare - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Remote Area Medical visits Cleveland for free healthcare

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Cleveland High School's cafeteria looked more like a scene from M*A*S*H Saturday morning as volunteers with Remote Area Medical or RAM went to work.

"We're bringing in people that are under insured or even uninsured no questions asked," organizer, Ron Brewer says.

The volunteer doctors, dentists and nurses provide free healthcare: everything from women's heath to the eye examinations for people in remote areas of the globe. Cleveland may not be remote but there are people in need, people like Robin Williams.

"Its good to know I have somewhere I can come," says Williams.

He and his wife drove from Dunlap Friday night to see one of RAM's volunteer dentists.

"There's some programs out there that are there for the people that need it, and I'm glad to have it," says Williams.  

Stan Brock founded RAM after seeing a need for mobile medical centers while visiting the Amazon decades ago.

"The nearest eye doctor or medical doctor was 26 days on foot," explains Brock.

Most of RAM's volunteers are healthcare professionals from around the nation, more than 70 percent of the patients Saturday will see dentists.

"There's a great feeling of satisfaction for the volunteers, that they've had an opportunity to help out these folks," says Brock.  

"These are people out here that care for the people here in this state," Williams says.

Since it was founded RAM has hosted nearly 700 events like this one across the nation.

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