Remote Area Medical, Traveling Free Health Care Clinics

My queue of half-started articles, most not directly related to Health Insurance Reform,  grows.   As my general list lengthens, aspects of need for deep Insurance Reform, potential articles, arrive more quickly than I can make use of them.

Case in point – an article in the Denver Post led to my writing a piece this morning I meant to post.  Before I had polished it up, a second article, this one via McClatchy, arrived and ‘bumped’ itself to the top of my list.  It’s the second of my two articles (on published articles by others) I’m presently posting.

I thought “R.A.M.”, (remote area medical), was the sole organization functioning as a traveling free medical clinic. RAM has an interesting background – developed to serve in ‘3rd world’ nations, it has turned its attention to American need, scheduling some 15 traveling clinics this season. These clinics are staffed by volunteer medical, dental, and vision professionals. Turn out is in the thousands, those needing service arrive from long distances, sleep in cars, wait turns, (and some are turned away as clinic capacity is reached.)

It turns out RAM is not the only one of these types of operations, there are some 1,200 of them.

McClatchy news has posted an article naming one of the previously unknown to me, clinics, (Mission of Mercy). The article gives summary information on this clinic’s experience with need, and cost of operation, as well as the same for other clinics.

“The Mission of Mercy, a group of traveling clinics that circulate through towns in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas and Arizona, is one of more than 1,200 free clinics across the nation that are feeling the effects of the economic downturn…”

Included with the article is an insert bar graph showing statistics on age, employment, income, and educational levels of citizens with/without insurance. The graph states: “About 15% of Americans, that’s more than 45 million people, are uninsured.”

A second clinic, Muslim operated, is also featured. I learned there is a national association for these clinics, and that they have not been invited to play a role in Washington Health Reform debates::

“ … National Association of Free Clinics. Last year, the clinics the association represents — which largely have been excluded from the health care debate — treated 4 million people. This year, Lamoureux (Nicole Lamoureux, the Association’s executive director) expects, they’ll serve some 8 million, 83 percent of whom come from homes in which at least one person works full time….”

In addition to hard statistical information on the uninsured, and on efforts of these clinics, the article gives direct glimpses into patient and doctor consultations, making readers privy to the realities of both.

Rather than continuing a cut/paste quote process here, I refer you to the McClatchy article, written by Leila Fadel.

See also: (60 minute special on RAM, created while presidential election was in progress) site of NAFC, National Association of Free Clinics)

And, of course, by running browser searches you will find unlimited references to Health Insurance Reform need, statistics, comparison with other systems, …!


The Denver Post article, written by Mike Littwin, is regional so got ‘bumped’.  But it’s about ‘my’ region of Colorado.  Littwin’s description of population ‘resistance’ re-awakened my already established interest in exploring ‘resistance.’   Maybe tomorrow I’ll post to that!  Here’s the article for your study:


May Health be yours, and Healing Services available should you need them! MaggieAnn


About maggieannthoeni

A description once given of me was "rooted in the earth while roaming the stars" - and this has felt 'right'. I believe in something akin to this for each of us. I am a passionate supporter of discovering the autonomous self while serving the whole as primary intent. I believe in discovery of innate principles, clearing the overlay of socialization that obscures this from us. I believe it is our responsibility to leave no one behind - most particularly to respond to suffering as best we can whereever we find it, whenever we are made aware. I believe in this for the insect as well as the most magnificent form of humanity. I believe in brother/sisterhood without boundary. I believe in righteous indignation when it is appropriate, but do not believe in an enemy. I believe in consciousness, in intelligence, in logic, in rationality, in emotion, in transcendence - and am convinced until we generally practice explore and honor all this in ourselves, we remain profoundly immature. (I believe real maturity is known and practiced by many young children, and not enough adults!)
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