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Free Mobile Health Care to Make Stop in Harrisonburg

Even as Medicaid expansion is finding its footing in Virginia, many people don’t have access to necessary health care. A non-profit provider of mobile medical clinics is coming to Harrisonburg for the first time on March 2nd and 3rd, in hopes of addressing some of those needs. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

During its two days here, Remote Area Medical, or RAM, anticipates that volunteer providers will treat some 400 people.

LAURA TRULL: We offer free medical, dental and vision care, in as many languages as we can find interpreters for. There’s no residency or identification or insurance requirements. If you show up and you’re human, you are welcome to receive services.

Laura Trull leads the community host group that invited RAM.

TRULL: The numbers are given out at 3 in the morning. Clinic doors open at 6 a.m. Everyone who gets a number will be served, and then hopefully after those numbers we’ll be able to serve patients on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Trull has volunteered at other RAM clinics, often taking along her college students.

TRULL: The hidden poor is something that they just don’t see and aren’t aware of this tremendous need, of people that are willing to drive 500 miles or sleep in their car for two nights to receive this kind of care.

The clinic, on the first Saturday and Sunday of March, will be at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds. And, Trull says,

TRULL: It’s incredible. It’s a thing to see. … Volunteers on their feet, 12 hours straight, you know – extracting teeth or walking people through the vision process. I’m always struck by just being surrounded by everyone who is so kind.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz was a freelance journalist for WMRA from 2015 - 2019.