Thousands of Californians benefit from free-care events

This week, thousands of patients will gather at the L.A. Sports Arena to receive free medical, dental and vision care provided by Tennessee-based nonprofit Remote Access Medical.

The clinic will provide free root canals, on-site eyeglasses, mammography, consultations, minor procedures and more, all of which will be provided by volunteers who are donating their time to help the community. No proof of income or insurance is required. Most attendants are employed but can't afford insurance, officials say.

Last year's RAM clinic treated over 6,000 patients, but more had to be turned away. This year, the clinic has moved to a bigger space and rallied more volunteers. Organizers also introduced a new color-coded wristband system to reduce delays and turn fewer hopeful patients away.

RAM has provided almost $40,000,000 of free care to date, and operates on donations from private individuals across the country. The majority of donations are $20 or less, according to the organization's founder and leader, Stan Brock.

In an unrelated event, 67 patients received free outpatient procedures, including gallbladder removals, hernia repairs, cataract removals, ACL repairs, gynecological procedures and more, as part of Kaiser Permanente's Free Surgery Day. More than 250 medical specialists--including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians--performed the outpatient surgeries at the three participating locations. The patients also will receive follow-up care and necessary medication.

"Today's Surgery Day is part of a broader effort by Kaiser Permanente medical centers throughout Southern California and their community partners, to provide free surgical procedures to low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals," said Benjamin Chu, MD, president of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Region. "These procedures will make significant improvements to the patients' quality of life, as many have been unable to work due to their medical conditions," he added.

To learn more:
- check out this ABC News story
- read background about RAM LA
- read this Los Angeles Times article
- check out this article in The Medical News

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