Southern Virginia to Host 4th Free Medical Clinic March 5-6
Southern Virginia University will coordinate with Remote Area Medical to host its fourth free clinic March 5–6, providing medical services to people in the area who are uninsured or in need of treatment.
Southern Virginia and RAM previously worked together to offer clinics in 2010, 2012 and 2014, each time serving approximately 600 patients with the aid of more than 200 volunteers. The most recent clinic in 2014 provided patients with 323 pairs of glasses, over 900 dental procedures and a total of $254,500 worth of care.
This year’s clinic will also provide full eye exams, prescription glasses, dental work including cleanings, fillings and extractions, general physicals, and medication assistance.
Patients do not need to provide proof of insurance or lack thereof in order to receive service and will be served on a first come, first served basis until the clinic’s full capacity is reached. It is recommended that patients arrive early in order to register. Registration begins at 6:00 a.m., but patient numbers will be handed out starting at 3:00 a.m.
Aimee Thompson, a sophomore at Southern Virginia, is one of the students in charge of recruiting volunteers for the clinic. She has previously been involved with four clinics, but this is the first clinic that she has helped to plan for the Rockbridge area.
She said that her experience serving at these clinics has shown her “how much of an impact one clinic over the course of two days can really make.” It is ultimately this impact that motivates her, along with the other students who have been preparing for the clinic throughout the past year, to dedicate the time to host another in Rockbridge County.
“In a small and very low income area like the one we live in, I think it’s extremely important to have a clinic of this sort held simply because there are so many people out there that need medical attention and care but have no means to receive it,” she said. “Although this isn’t a complete replacement for seeing a doctor, it is nice to know that we are able to provide this service to those in the community who can’t get the help they need on their own.”
Additionally, Thompson said that she believes students’ involvement in the clinic provides them with skills and experience that will prepare them for their future careers. Specifically, she hopes that the experience that she and her husband, who is also a Southern Virginia student, have had through these clinics will prepare them for “medical school and PA school.”
“Sometimes it’s been difficult with all of our other obligations, but I think in the end, this is well worth it,” Thompson said.