A few more professionals are needed, but, for the most part, Manatee County has its medical volunteers in place to put for its second Remote Area Medical clinic for anyone who needs medical help and can’t afford it.
Known internationally as RAM, the 2016 event includes three days for people and one day for dogs and cats. Last year’s event consisted of two days for people only.
This year’s human services lineup for dental, vision and medical care runs 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 11, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 12 and 6 a.m. to noon on Nov. 13, all at Manatee Technical College, 6305 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton.
I think it’s a great thing to do. Manatee County really needs help. We, doctors, make money on paying people so it’s time to give back to those who can’t afford to pay.
Dr. Jonathan Adler of Adler Eye Institute
The pet clinic, which is only for dogs and cats, is 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at Braden River High School, 6545 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton, said Sue Kolze, vice president of Animal Network, an animal nonprofit.
“We almost have everything we need,” Emily McGee, a RAM spokeswoman based in Tennessee, said Thursday. “We are just looking for more optometrists and ophthalmologists.”
Urging from an ophthalmologist
Manatee ophthalmologists like himself will have a rewarding experience if they volunteer at RAM, said Dr. Jonathan Adler of Adler Eye Institute in Bradenton.
“It was great,” Adler said Thursday of last year’s RAM. “There were lines around the block before we got there. There were a lot of kids who really needed glasses for school and they made them right there. It was amazing to see kids see again.”
Adler, who is volunteering again this year, was also able to diagnose some cases of diabetes based on eye exams and he invited a few RAM patients to return to his office for glaucoma treatments.
“I think it’s a great thing to do. Manatee County really needs help. We, doctors, make money on paying people so it’s time to give back to those who can’t afford to pay,” Adler said.
Manatee or Sarasota optometrists and ophthalmologists can volunteer by calling 941-526-4766 or 865-579-1530, McGee said.
How it works
Help at both the human and pet clinics is on a first-come, first-served basis, said Dr. Richard Conard, president of RAM’s Florida Division.
Tickets for human services are handed out in the Manatee Technical College parking lot at 3 a.m. each day and the doors open at 6 a.m.
Tickets for the pet clinic will be handed out at 10 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Braden River High School with doors opening at 11 a.m. Pets must be on a leash.
Clients are not asked for insurance, medical records or proof of citizenship to get seen at the event.
“It’s totally free,” Conard added.
Dental services, which were the most sought after services last year, include cleaning, fillings and extractions.
Vision services include basic screening, refracting, eye exams and free prescription eye glasses when needed.
Medical services include general consultations, diabetic screenings, mammograms, pap smears and other services.
If you go:
- What: Remote Area Medical free family healthcare clinics
- When: Human services: 6 a.m.- 4 p.m. Nov. 11, 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 12 and 6 a.m. to noon Nov. 13
- Where: Manatee Technical College, 6305 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton
- Pets: A special dog and cat clinic: 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Nov. 11 at Braden River High School, 6545 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton
- Information: 941-526-4766 or 865-579-1530