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Pahrump Remote Area Medical fundraiser hailed a success

Medical services are a necessary part of maintaining health and well-being but for millions of people all around the world, accessing such services can prove very difficult. In many cases, obtaining health care is prevented due to lack of financial ability but even those who can afford health insurance and the associated co-pays and deductibles sometimes have a hard time because there is simply a lack of providers in their area.

It is with this knowledge in mind that the international nonprofit Remote Area Medical was founded and over the last 36 years, it has brought pop-up clinics to locations all across the globe and delivered millions of dollars worth of free care to those who need it.

Pahrump is one of the many locations that RAM has visited. In fact, over the past five years, this organization has made repeated trips to the Pahrump Valley to offer its free medical clinic to residents of the valley and surrounding areas. This year, 2021, marks the sixth year that Remote Area Medical, or RAM, will be making a stop in Pahrump and to help prepare, the Pahrump RAM Committee hosted a fundraiser this past Saturday, aimed at generating cash that will be put to good use in covering the expenses that putting together such a large-scale medical event entails.

The RAM Taco Dinner was held on Saturday, Aug. 28 at the NyE Communities Coalition, which is collaborating with RAM to hold the Pahrump RAM Clinic. Despite having had all the details nailed down for an in-person shindig only to have to pivot just two and a half weeks before the event and turn it into a drive-thru style occasion due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraiser was a big success, with organizers reporting that over $2,500 was raised.

“Having had to make some last-minute changes to the event, it was great to still see so many people in the community turn out to support RAM!” Devon Couch, a Pahrump RAM Committee member and one of the lead organizers for the event, said with obvious enthusiasm. She added that all 152 pre-sale tickets that were available prior to the event were sold out and an additional 18 tickets were sold “at the door” the evening of the fundraiser. All together, Couch said ticket sales garnered a total of $1,040.

On top of the delectable eats delivered to vehicles on Saturday, there was also an online auction hosted to help bring in even more dollars to support the Pahrump RAM Clinic and this, too, was hailed as a success. Couch detailed that there were 18 auction items available for bidding and they collectively raised another $1,490 for the event, bringing the grand total to $2,530 raised.

Of course, without donors, the auction would not have been nearly as successful and all of those involved with the RAM Committee were overjoyed to have so many local businesses, organizations and individuals chipping in. Those who contributed to the auction include Aesthetic Enhancements, Dina Williamson-Erdag, Golden Gaming, Inspirations Senior Living, L&J Pool, Nathan Adelson Hospice, Pahrump Valley Carpet Care, Pahrump Valley Winery, Port of Subs, The Quilted Dragon, Shirley Patterson and Stockman’s Steakhouse, along with two donors who wished to remain anonymous.

“Thanks to Shirley Patterson, our cook for the event,” Couch said. “Without her, those delicious taco plates wouldn’t have been possible. And thank you to the Pahrump RAM Committee Host Group, all of the volunteers who helped during the event and all of our donors.”

The Pahrump RAM Clinic is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 2 and 3 at the Pathways Innovative Education Building, 2000 S. Mount Charleston Drive.

“All RAM services are free and no ID is required,” a press release from RAM explained. “Free dental, vision and medical services will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis… Services available at the clinic will include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental X-rays, eye exams, glaucoma testing, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women’s health exams, mammograms and general medical exams.”

Those who plan on attending the RAM Clinic this October should note that due to time constraints, they will need to be prepared to choose between dental and vision care or, if they need to have both, to return to the clinic for both days. All medical services, however, will be offered in addition to dental or vision.

The parking lot at the Pathways building will open at 12:01 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2 and remain open throughout the event. Attendees will be provided with additional information regarding the clinic opening processes and the next steps once they arrive. Patients are asked to come prepared with their own food, water, medications and clothing when arriving early, although bathrooms will be provided. The clinic doors themselves are set to open at 6 a.m. both mornings.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting the country, RAM will also require all patients to wear a face covering and undergo a COVID screening before entering the clinic. No guests or family members will be allowed to accompany patients and pets are not permitted either.

Anyone who may not be in need of the medical services to be provided but who wants to lend a hand in this philanthropic endeavor is encouraged to sign up to be a volunteer. Licensed dental and vision professionals have been in great demand throughout these annual events in the valley and anyone with expertise in these areas, as well as general medical professionals, are always welcome. In addition, volunteers with no medical background are needed, to help perform other tasks such as greeting patients and helping them check in, to escorting them around the site, helping with food service for the medical and general volunteers and RAM staff and cleaning up.

To sign up as a volunteer or to learn more about the organization visit www.RAMUSA.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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