RAM Clinic helps hundreds with free medical care in Cleveland
Before sunrise, hundreds of people lined up in Cleveland for free healthcare. Remote Area Medical (RAM) hosted a free medical clinic providing medical, dental and vision care at Cleveland High School.
One patient, Matthew Ferrell, doesn’t have insurance. He says he came to the clinic to get new glasses.
"Honestly, there's not other option for me at this point,” Ferrell said. “I need my glasses, everything is kind of blurry."
RAM is an almost entirely volunteer-based group, and most of their funding comes from private donors. John Myers, who volunteers as a Board of Directors member, says providing healthcare can make a huge difference in the lives of the uninsured or under-insured.
“We hope that a lot of them will be out of pain for the first time, or be able to see or read,” Myers said. “And sometimes that has a big impact on being able to find gainful employment.”
The services RAM provides are so critical that Myers says people often travel hundreds of miles for help.
"People travel great distance sometimes,” he said. “You'll probably see people in the clinic here today that may have traveled as far as Birmingham or Atlanta."
Matthew Ferrell didn’t have to come too far, but he did wait all night to get his eyes checked. To him, it’s worth it.
"It will definitely help financially and just for my ability to live,” he said. “It's hard to see some things, I realized last night just how bad my vision is getting again. Like I said, this is an important thing for the community."
RAM staff expect to serve around 600 people this weekend. The RAM Clinic is open through Sunday, June 2. The parking lots opens at midnight, and doors will open at 6:00 a.m.
To volunteer or donate, visit RAM's website.