Mind & Body
Operation Healing & Restoration
8/6/2018 12:35:18 PM
Remote Area Medical

The City of Lake Charles, in partnership with Remote Area Medical (RAM), a free mobile medical clinic, will host "RAM: Operation Healing and Restoration,” a historic and much-needed opportunity for thousands of residents in the community to receive free dental, vision, and medical care in Lake Charles on September 15 and 16, 2018 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. This is the first ever event of its kind in the state of Louisiana.

"Access to quality healthcare is essential if we are to truly battle the root causes of poverty within a community,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. "We believe that this event will have lasting effects throughout our community. It truly is a Herculean effort to put this event on. We hope Operation Healing and Restoration may connect our residents in need to health services and care that may be available to them year-round.”

Financial and physical support is being provided by CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, West Calcasieu-Cameron Hospital, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps, United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services (SWLA), KPLC 7 News, National Bio-Care, Louisiana

Healthcare Connections, and Healthy Blue. "We need more partnerships like this between government, nonprofit, and private institutions to address needs in the community,” said Hunter. 

RAM is the largest non-governmental provider of medical clinics delivering free high-quality dental, vision, and medical care to underserved and underinsured individuals, children, and families. Those needing care do not need proof of insurance, residency, or income. The clinic will run all day Saturday and Sunday, with both days beginning at 6:00 a.m.

Founded in 1985, RAM originally was created to serve as a safety net provider of free medical care in remote areas of developing countries, such as Guyana, Mexico, and Haiti. Almost immediately after beginning operations, the organization began receiving requests to operate medical clinics in the United States. 

It could serve thousands depending on the turnout of volunteers according to Emily Ashworth, RN, BSN, the city’s wellness nurse coordinator. She encourages people to volunteer so the clinic can reach as many people as possible. Ashworth said a RAM clinic in Houston served over 600 in one weekend but could have served over a 1,000 if more medical providers and residents had volunteered.

"The clinic’s goal is meeting the immediate needs of residents while connecting them with affordable, long-term care options. Many people in Southwest Louisiana struggle to pay for medical treatment on top of other expenses,” said Ashworth.

Healthcare professionals in the areas of Women’s Health, Dental, Vision, and resident volunteers (for setup, breakdown, and general support during the clinic on Saturday and Sunday) are needed for this event’s success. Those wishing to volunteer may register at www.ramusa.org.  Those in need of step-by-step instructions can go to www.cityoflakecharles.com to download and print instructions. You can also access the RAM link from this site.  

For more information, please call 337 491-1378 or email emily.ashworth@cityoflc.us.
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