WCAV-WVAW-WAHU | Charlottesville, Virginia | News

Annual Free Health Care Event Treats Thousands in Wise Co.

July 22, 2013

Thousands of people received free medical, dental or vision treatment during a three-day health care clinic in southwest Virginia.

An estimated 3,000 uninsured or under insured patients lined up for hours to receive the free care at the 14th annual Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic at the Wise County Fairgrounds.

Doctors, medical students and volunteers set up makeshift offices in what would usually be fairground facilities. Buildings without air conditioning were converted into medical suites using bed sheets and clothes pins hanging on twine.

The clinic is one of several like it in the country, but the Wise RAM has historically seen the most patients.

Officials say last year's event saw more than 5,000 people from Friday through Sunday, with volunteers performing an estimated $1.9 million in free care, including more than 3,300 tooth extractions, 2,600 medical procedures and 800 eyeglasses made on-site.

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