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TONOPAH | How to help at RAM’s upcoming free clinic

Health care is a basic need but unfortunately, thousands of residents in Nye County struggle to afford necessary medical services. For the highly-rural town of Tonopah and its surrounding communities, this hurdle is further compounded by a lack of access to many health care options.

This March, however, residents of the Tonopah area will have an assortment of exams, procedures and services brought right to them, absolutely free of charge, thanks to a partnership between the NyE Communities Coalition and the international nonprofit Remote Area Medical.

Set for Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5, the Tonopah Remote Area Medical, or RAM, clinic will take place at Tonopah High School, 1 Tennant Drive.

The goal is to provide free general medical screenings, women’s health services, mental health assessments and counseling, vision care services including prescription eyeglasses made on site and dental exams, cleanings, fillings and extractions. But the success of the free medical pop-up clinic hinges on a key component, volunteerism. Without medical professionals offering their expertise and members of the public stepping up to perform a variety of ancillary tasks, none of RAM’s free medical clinics could happen.

This is the first time that RAM will be making a trip to the Tonopah community and getting the word out is imperative when it comes to recruiting volunteers.

Nye County Public Information Officer Arnold Knightly sent out an announcement last Friday encouraging people to give their time to the upcoming Tonopah RAM Clinic, remarking, “The Tonopah Remote Area Medical event scheduled for March 4 and 5 desperately needs medical and general support volunteers.”

NyECC Community Host Group Committee member Ryan Muccio noted that vision care providers in particular are needed.

As for those who wish to utilize the available medical services, the parking lot at Tonopah High School will open at 12:01 a.m. both Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5. Due to the popularity of RAM clinics, lines start forming early as the clinic is on a first-come-first-served basis. The clinic doors themselves will open at 6 a.m. each morning.

“Patients should be prepared with their own food, water, medicines and clothing when arriving early,” the RAM website details. “Bathrooms will be provided. All services are free and open to the public. No ID required.”

For more information on the Tonopah clinic call 775-727-9970. For more on RAM as a whole or to sign up as a volunteer visit www.RAMUSA.org

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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