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Remote Area Medical bringing free services to town

Quality medical care performed by a team of doctors and physicians is coming to Pahrump later this year.

Remote Area Medical (RAM) is described as a nonprofit medical care organization providing free vision, dental, and general medical services to people in communities throughout the U.S., and overseas.

Susan Holecheck, Pahrump’s Nathan Adelson Hospice director who is helping bring the service to town, said area residents should take advantage of the services, which are free.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the town of Pahrump and its residents to receive free medical, vision and dental services,” she said. “The services include dental cleanings, fillings and tooth extractions.”

Vision specialists, Holecheck said, will also provide a variety of services to community members.

“They will offer eye exams and test for glaucoma and for diabetic retinopathy,” she said. “Even eyeglasses will be made the same day and it’s all free of charge. General medical diagnosis will cover breast exams, diabetes screening, physicals, women’s health care and much more.”

Holecheck said the remote clinic will operate from the NyE Communities Coalition facility on Friday, Sept., 30, Saturday Oct. 1st and a half-day on Sunday, Oct. 2, this year.

Services begin at 6 a.m. on Sept. 30.

“It’s great because no appointments are necessary,” she said. “People can park at the coalition, which will open at midnight. Lines will begin forming at 3 a.m., on each of the three days.”

Those in attendance will receive a number and will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Holecheck said individuals must be present to secure their number.

“People should be aware that the wait can be a long one,” she said. “People wanting the services should bring along food, water and entertainment, like books or games.”

Participants will not be asked for proof of residency, insurance or income, as the program is open to anyone who needs the service.

Holecheck noted that those who seek the service cannot receive dental and vision services on the same day.

“People do need to be prepared to indicate the services they require,” she said. “They can receive free dental and general medical services on one day, and get vision and general medical on another day, but you cannot receive dental and vision on the same day. They will be extracting teeth if necessary, as well as cleaning teeth. They will be doing breast exams and all kinds of general medical procedures.”

Holecheck said the RAM program always puts a strong emphasis on rural communities across the country.

The medical providers actually volunteer their time for the effort.

She noted that several doctors in town have expressed an interest in providing their respective services.

“When we talk about volunteers, we hope that our own medical community will step up and volunteer,” she said. “I have already gotten a few doctors and nurses who have called me and said they want to volunteer.”

Additionally, non-medical personnel are also being sought out, as well as monetary donations.

“We have to feed the core group that’s coming from the RAM organization and during those two and a half days we have to feed the volunteers,” she said. “If there are businesses in town who can’t volunteer but could provide some kind of donation, be it monetary, or supplies, such as water, we would really appreciate that because we are going to have to provide sustenance, such as breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Those in the community wishing to volunteer their time must first register online at ramusa.org

“You have to go onto RamUSA.org, and you will see a little button about volunteering and you pull down the tab and select Pahrump, Nevada,” she said. “If you don’t have a computer, I think the people at the Pahrump Community Library would be happy to help you.”

Once registered, Holecheck said, volunteers should perform the duties where they are needed the most.

“You really can’t pick and choose about what your duties are,” she said. “I think in all fairness, we have to tell people that. You may have to do unpleasant duties. They will need general volunteers, such as runners to deliver various supplies. So volunteers are desperately needed for this endeavor. They will direct you to where you are needed most.”

Holecheck said NyE Communities Coalition Executive Director Stacy Smith is overseeing the effort.

“I really think we have to thank people like Stacy Smith, who is just so important for our community and is involved in other communities,” Holecheck said. “I think Stacy volunteered at a RAM clinic at one time and that’s probably how we got our foot in the door here. So a big thanks goes out to Stacy.”

For additional information, call Smith at the coalition at 775 727-9970.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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