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Remote Area Medical Clinic Serves Over 300 People

Medical Clinic at Genesee Valley Central School Provides Free Care to Over 300 People

Genesee Valley Central School served as host site for a Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic over Columbus Day Weekend, October 9-10. Throughout the weekend, 316 patients received medical, vision, and dental care—all free of charge. 

Setup for the clinic began on Friday, October 8 and by 6:00 a.m. the next morning, 60 cars were already in line when the clinic doors opened to welcome patients. 

Over the two days of the clinic, a variety of medical services were provided to the community—including 121 eye exams, 116 prescription glasses made on site, 31 dental cleanings, 71 dental procedures, and 56 dental x-rays. Other services included physicals, flu shots, lab work, behavioral health, and more.

“The energy at the RAM clinic was amazing,” shared Anne Campbell, Wellness Director at Genesee Valley Central School and chair of the clinic. “So many people from various locations throughout New York attended, even some from other states. When you saw patients come through the door and give a sigh of relief, we knew this clinic was needed for our community.”

In addition to the administrative team and core volunteers from RAM, over 200 individuals volunteered in a variety of roles, including setup, general support, nursing staff, as well as dental, vision and medical providers. Volunteers came from near and far, including students from SUNY College of Optometry in New York City, dental students from Stony Brook University, nursing staff from SUNY Delhi, 29 students from Penn State’s RAM Chapter, as well as volunteers from in and around Allegany County. 

“Volunteering is good for the soul,” commented RAM Clinic volunteer Jennifer Ross. “Serving others is a privilege, and a rewarding one at that. It also strips away all the heaviness of the world and brings you back to your humanity. When you see someone who is ecstatic to receive basic care and services that they have had to go without due to cost, lack of insurance, or inability to pay copays, it’s eye opening.”

Numerous community organizations, agencies, schools, and churches provided financial assistance, volunteers, and donations of food and supplies to support the two-day clinic. Alfred State College housed 35 out-of-town volunteers free of charge, Brandy’s Cup of Joe traveled back and forth 11 times from their Hornell store to keep the coffee hot and fresh all weekend long. All told, over $25,000 in financial donations were received from over 20 organizations.

“The RAM Clinic couldn’t have come at a better time,” added Tara Histed, Assistant Professor in Nursing at Alfred State College. “The ability to provide free care was just one small way we could help alleviate some of the burdens so many people are currently facing. it was a very humbling experience to see how grateful the patients were and how far they were willing to travel or how long they were willing to wait for services. I was happy to play a small role in helping this be a success in our small community.”