SPRINGFIELD, Tenn. (WTVF) — People from across Tennessee lined up for a chance to receive free medical care at a clinic in Springfield.
The nonprofit, Remote Area Medical (RAM), is hosting the event. It is the fourth time the group has held a clinic in Springfield. In 2021, 233 people attended and received $87,154 worth of free dental, vision and medical services.
No identification is required for care, but patients will be treated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors open at 6 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13. However, at 3 a.m., patients can receive a numbered admission ticket. All patients will be required to wear a face covering and must undergo a COVID-19 screening before entering.
Services available at the clinic include dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions, dental X-rays, eye exams, glaucoma testing, eyeglass prescriptions, eyeglasses made on-site, women's health exams and general medical exams. COVID-19 Vaccines and free, take-home colon cancer screening test kits will also be available. All services are provided by volunteer medical professionals.
"Our goal at Remote Area Medical is to stand in the gap and reach those people who don’t have access to healthcare," said Kim Faulkinbury, the clinic coordinator. "We get all kinds of responses, but overwhelming gratitude is probably the most frequent."
Volunteers worked throughout the day Friday to transform The Center into the clinic.
Tabitha Hunt was parked outside the building at 2 p.m. Friday. She drove six hours from Morristown, Tennessee, with her aunt and two dogs for a chance to receive dental work for free.
"At first I think I’m going to be a little sore," said Hunt. "But, I’m probably going to feel a lot better."
According to 2020 Census Bureau data, 783,700 Tennesseans do not have health insurance. Officials with the Tennessee Justice Center said many of the uninsured are eligible for TennCare coverage, but are not enrolled because they are confounded by the red tape.
RAM has treated more than 888,000 people across the country since it was founded in 1985. Officials estimate the organization and its volunteers have provided $181.5 million worth of free healthcare and veterinary services.
The clinic will be held at The Center, located at 401 N. Main Street, Springfield, TN 37172. The one-day event is in collaboration with the Robertson County Baptist Association (RCBA).