Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 17, 2013

Morehead clinic to provide $300K in free medical care

Alli Collins
The Independent

MOREHEAD — Morehead State’s Center for Regional Engagement recently announced Morehead will soon be the recipient of more than $300,000 in free medical care.

Remote Area Medical will come to Morehead in October, offering free vision and dental care, along with medical screenings.

RAM was founded in 1985 by Stan Brock of the television program “Wild Kingdom.”

The nonprofit organization was originally designed to bring health care to Third World countries, but now serves people in need across the United States.

The CRE’s Linda Golebiewski, who is leading the charge in bringing the program to Morehead, said between 1,000 and 1,200 individuals will be served during the program’s two-day stint in the area.

“Morehead has been blessed,” Golebiewski said. “There’s no other word for it.”

The RAM program will be at the new Rowan County Middle School.

Medical care will be offered beginning at 6 a.m.  Doctors will continue to see patients on Oct. 26.

Golebiewski said there will be between 70 and 80 dental chairs to serve those in need of dental care. Local doctors, along with the entire University of Kentucky dental school, will provide dental care.

With the assistance of local optometrists, free vision care also will be provided. Golebiewski said 300 to 400 pairs of glasses will be given to those in need.

Along with dental and vision care, medical screenings such as mammograms, cholesterol screenings and women’s health screening swill be provided.

Golebiewski said RAM has wanted to extend its services to Morehead for a long time. Morehead has necessary facilities such as the airport and interstate access. However, it is also a regional hub of sorts, and people from surrounding counties will be able to participate in receiving this free medical care.

There have been some early concerns with the RAM program’s visit because it is scheduled for the same weekend as MSU’s homecoming.

Golebiewski said the entire university, including President Wayne Andrews, is backing the program. Logistically, this is the only time RAM and the UK dental school were available on the same weekend.

“We cannot pass it up,” Golebiewski said. “If we pass it up, we’re passing up $300,000 in free medical care.”

RAM was in Greenup County this summer. Golebiewski said more than 165 were lined up for care at 3 a.m. on the first day of the program.

“It’s going to be one of the greatest gifts Morehead’s received in a long time,” Golebiewski said.

RAM is a first-come, first-served program. It’s open to all — no proof of income or insurance is necessary.

Though the event is a year away, Golebiewski said it would take that much time to prepare. Fundraisers for the program are in the works.