Free Health Clinic Coming to Knott County

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

The Remote Area Medical Clinic, known as RAM, offers free medical and dental services across the country. One of the clinic's next stops will be right here in eastern Kentucky.

On December 6th and 7th, hundreds of people will receive the health care they need.

RAM Coordinator Julie Haynes says, "Clinics like Remote Area Medical that come in and offer a free clinic of this magnitude, it can really change the quality of life."

The original RAM event was scheduled for 2010, but because of a cancellation RAM officials offered up the first weekend of December, leaving Julie Haynes and her crew less than 2 months to plan the event.

Haynes says things are going well, with about two thirds of the dental staff already signed on, but more volunteers are needed.

"We're going to need about 120 nurses, and we're getting quite a few at this point. About 250 general volunteers, we have five physicians and nurse practitioners at this point and could still use a few more," says Haynes.

But Haynes says some laws are making her job a little harder.

"Ophthalmologists have to be licensed in the state of Kentucky, and optometrists can not work the event, because there is a law that prevents optometrists from working outside of their office," says Haynes.

Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo plans to attend the clinic, and is working on waivers to allow optometrists to work at the clinic.

"We're working on it, we hope to have the ability to have optometrists there to give eye exams and that will give a big boost to the amount of patients we can see as well," says Mongiardo.

The clinic opens at 6am, December 6th and 7th. Organizers say providers will see patients on a first come, first serve basis.

Anyone looking to volunteer can contact Julie Haynes at the Hazard KRADD office.

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