Remote Area Medical (RAM) free clinic comes to Harrisonburg


Remote Area Medical, a major nonprofit provider of mobile medical clinics delivering free dental, vision and medical care to underserved and uninsured individuals, is coming to Harrisonburg this weekend.

Services available include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental x-rays, eye exams, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women's health (including mammograms and PAP) and general medical exams.

All RAM services are free, and no ID is required.

The RAM clinic will operate at Rockingham County Fairgrounds on 4808 South Valley Pike in Harrisonburg on March 2-3, 2019.

Typically, RAM opens the first patient parking lot no later than midnight on the first night of the event which will be Saturday, March 2.

Ticket distribution begins at 3 a.m., and patients are served in chronological order according to their ticket number when clinic doors open, typically starting at 6 a.m. In some situations, such as inclement weather, volunteer cancellations or other circumstances outside of RAM’s control, ticketing may occur earlier than 3 a.m.

This process repeats on Sunday, March 3.

RAM encourages everyone who would like services, especially dental services, to arrive as early as possible. Rural health

According to RAM development specialist Robert Lambert, people frequently tell them they aren't offered insurance at their jobs, can't afford the premiums and deductibles associated with affordable care plans, or they have insurance but it doesn't cover what they need.

According to U.S. census data, the poverty rate in the city of Harrisonburg is 23.3%, which far exceeds the national average of 12.7%. Nearly one out of every six people under the age of 65 lacks health insurance coverage. The poverty rate in the city of Staunton is 13.3% and 17.4% in the city of Waynesboro. Because of these factors, RAM expects to treat approximately 400 or more people from Harrisonburg and surrounding communities during the two-day clinic.

The Community Host Group Lead at RAM's Harrisonburg clinic is Laura Hunt Trull. A professor at James Madison University, Trull teaches a class called Rural Health: An Interprofessional Approach. Students in her course are required to volunteer at one of RAMs in the area.

JMU Professor Laura Hunt Trull stands with her mom Susan Hunt in front of a Remote Area Medical Virginia truck. Both volunteer at RAMs throughout the state. In 2019, Trull will be the lead clinic organizer for a RAM Virginia clinic coming to Harrisonburg. (Photo: Laura Hunt Trull/Submitted) “I can’t believe this is the United States,” her students say to her after they volunteer at RAM clinics.

Students volunteer from set up to break down. They help with registration, triage, dental and vision.

“They all have this reaction,” says Trull. “That people sleep in their cars just to get a tooth pulled or their blood pressure checked.”

Due to the participation of 17,837 volunteers, RAM was able to operate 97 expeditions in 2018, providing free care to 45,262 people and 455 pets, the busiest year since RAM's founding in 1985.

The value of care provided in 2018 totaled $15,386,013.

“This will be RAM’s first time serving the Harrisonburg, Virginia community and we can’t be more excited. We know from working with local community partners that the need for affordable health and dental services is great, so we couldn’t be more proud to be of service to residents in the area," said RAM CEO Jeff Eastman.


Involves Faculty, Involves Staff, Involves Students, Involves Participants External to JMU




March 2, 2019


One Time Only

Areas of Engagement

Community Engagement, Engaged Learning


Class/Coursework, Service Learning

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