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RAM - Wise County

Information about the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic held in Wise County, Virginia.

RAM is a collaborative effort between several groups and organizations to provide medical, dental, and vision care for those in attendance. Patients travel from all over to receive these health care services. Many of the patients are from the coal counties of Southwest Virginia. This region is home to some of the most medically underserved populations in the state.

Last year, we saw and treated over 1,200 patients in two and a half days. Our 20-bed clinic saw more patients than a busy emergency room sees on average in a 24-hour period. To set up for the clinic, UVA volunteers converted horse stalls into exam rooms by creating "walls" with only ropes, sheets and clothes pins.

Common health concerns of this population include: hypertension, arthritis, poor dentition, depression, heart disease, diabetes and pulmonary disease. Some patients traveled for hours and slept in their cars overnight just to receive the free medical and dental care. For many patients, this is the only opportunity they have to see a physician for the whole year.

UVA volunteers provide several medical and support services, such as emergency care; women's health; endocrinology; plastic surgery; dermatology; general medicine; a limited, on-site pharmacy; lab; mammography; social services; and telemedicine. Each patient seen at RAM is registered and given a UVA Health System medical record number. This has enabled us to track RAM patients and provide better follow-up care.

This year's clinic is July 17 - 19, at the Wise County Fairground.

Find out more about our other RAM clinics: