Hundreds of area residents took advantage of free medical services over the weekend as the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Corps arrived in town on Friday.
Since its establishment in 1985, the nonprofit organization has teamed with community partners providing free medical, dental and vision services to families, both nationally and across the globe.
NyE Communities Coalition was the venue for Pahrump residents.
Coalition Executive Director Staci Smith said though data is still being collected, more than 400 area residents received the service from Friday, Sept. 30 through Sunday, October 2.
Smith also said families and individuals arrived at the site the night before the event just to get a choice spot in line.
“We have a total count of 462 of right now,” she said. “We still have the data coming in and we believe we had about a little over 500 patients who came through and something like 462 who received actual services.”
Those services came with a cost estimate.
Smith said at present, she figures more than $149,000 worth of medical services were provided over the weekend.
“That is estimated value of all of the medical services based on the lowest Medicaid rate,” Smith said. “It is certainly not high-balling it at all because if anything, it is low-balling it.”
The event was more than mere examinations, screenings and consultations.
Smith noted that patients received eye glasses and dental work, including cleanings, fillings and extractions at the facility.
Mental health and counseling screenings were also part of the services provided.
“We had about 165 to 170 pairs of glasses that were handed out right there,” she said. “They got a prescription and the prescription was taken to a facility in the parking lot and the pairs of glasses were cut. They would be able to make a pair of glasses within minutes.”
On the dental side, Smith said one particular dentist worked nonstop throughout the day due to a shortage.
“The very few that we had were amazing,” she said. “The first day on Friday, we only had one dentist here and he worked tirelessly all day long. We had several other dentists come in the next day. A couple of them originally signed up to be here for Sunday, but they had so many things that needed to be carried over to the next day, they agreed to come back.”
Additionally, Smith said she was amazed at the structure and levels of logistics needed to successfully operate the event.
“It was an awesome structure because they had the ability to just come in, set it up and transform our campus into a medical facility here,” she said. “They were very responsive. If I called and asked what they thought about a particular idea, they were right on top of it with the right answer.”
Though a majority of the medical professionals providing services were from the Pahrump community, Smith said many others arrived from out of town.
“All of our medical people are local and medical people that came from Las Vegas,” she said. “We even had people who came from Arizona as well as California. There were all of these different medical people who came from all over to make this all possible.”
Despite the long lines and waiting period for services, Smith said she thought the patients were more than grateful for the first-time event in Pahrump.
“This was a long process and everyone was really patient,” she said. “People were lining up at seven, eight and nine o’clock the night before. They were all tired, but people kept their sense of humor. They were very appreciative about the entire RAM event.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes