Remote Area Medical Clinic
It’s been over a decade since volunteers from the UVA Health System responded to a call for assistance from the organizers of a three-day Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic to be held at a rural airport in Southwest Virginia.
That first year in Wise, attendance was relatively sparse, but by the following year, word of free medical, dental and vision care had spread and lines of patients stretched down the tarmac.
These lines brought home how difficult it is for people of the region to get adequate medical care. Many have no reliable transportation, and those who do must drive hours to receive even simple screenings. And because they are often uninsured, all too many postpone routine care. As a result, they are much more likely to die of preventable and treatable diseases — diabetes, heart disease and chronic pulmonary disease — than the average Virginian.
In the process of working closely with our local counterparts to plan each RAM Clinic, we have found opportunities to serve the communities in Southwest Virginia year-round:
- UVA volunteers now staff follow-up clinics in Grundy and Wise.
- Endocrinologists offer quarterly clinics in conjunction with the Health Wagon, a free mobile health clinic already serving the region.
- Our mobile mammography van travels the region’s back roads to offer digital mammography services at least once a month.
- Our oncologists use telemedicine to help local nurse practitioners achieve certification in advanced procedures.
Find out more about our RAM clinics: