Hundreds line up for free health clinic in Charleston
Hundreds of people lined up early Saturday morning for a free health clinic in Charleston. It is expecting to serve thousands of West Virginians this weekend.
West Virginia Health Right and the Remote Area Medical (RAM) organization will be at the Bible Center School on Oakhurst Drive in Charleston Saturday and Sunday.
"We do these clinics all around the United States," said RAM CEO Jeff Eastman. "We do over 60 clinics a year through great partners that we have here today and it makes a great difference in these peoples lives."
The clinic is run by RAM which is a major non-profit organization that provides free healthcare for people who are in need. They offer free dental, vision and medical care including, dental fillings, x-rays, eye exams, glaucoma testing, women's health exams and offer to spay or neuter pets off-site.
"We got providers that come from all the way around the country to come provide free healthcare. There was a group of nurses that drove ten hours and spent the night, we've had patients come in from Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio and all to come here to get free healthcare," said Eastman.
RAM served over 700 patients in Charleston last year and the CEO anticipates a similar turnout for this year.
"This is my first time ever coming and I'll tell you what, I think it's a blessing to the community," said RAM patient, Anna-Betty Arthur. "I've tried to thank all the volunteers and medical staff for volunteering their weekend."
RAM travels all around the country, year round, serving hundreds of thousands of people in need.
"A program like this that moves around from state to state or region to region, is absolutely wonderful and I applaud whoever came up with the idea," said Arthur.
The clinic opened Saturday morning at 6 a.m. and was jam packed as expected. The parking lot opened at midnight and tickets began being handed out at 3 a.m. The clinic is on a first come, first serve basis.
Doors will open again at 6 a.m. on Sunday and no ID is required to receive free services.