RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - With enough volunteer dentists, this makeshift dental clinic can see about 20 patients at one time.
This is where Diane Rossmann had her teeth fixed Friday morning after sleeping in her car in hopes of landing a spot at the Remote Area Medical Clinic, or RAM.
“Once they call you, yeah, it is really boring, but it is worth it; It is definitely worth it,” says Rossmann.
The RAM clinics travel from town to town helping coordinate patient care. They provide the medical equipment; local communities provide the volunteers from nurses to hygienists and even dentists.
“We've enjoyed doing dentistry in the last eight years more than the 40 years before it, where we were running a business; now we do it for free,” says retired dentist Richard Powell.
The last time RAM was in town three years ago, about 800 patients came through the doors.
They are only bound by the number of medical volunteers who can provide care.
Who walks through the doors may surprise you, organizers say. It could as easily be your neighbor as someone who is down on his luck.
“There are a lot of hard working Americans who have general medical insurance but they don't have vision insurance or dental insurance. We are here to help those people,” says Stephen Blackstock, RAM Clinic Coordinator.
Free immunizations from influenza to Hepatitis to the T-DAP vaccine are available.
A table of sample frames sits on the south side of the clinic. Once patients get their eyes examined and receive a prescription, they can select a frame. The glasses are made and fitted in a trailer just outside the gym--all within about an hour.
“Wonderful, can't beat that, thankful, very thankful for it,” says Stephen Nightingale, a patient at the RAM Clinic.
To participate in the RAM Clinic, you'll have to go first to the Washoe County Health Department on 9th Street. From here you will be shuttled to the Boys and Girls Club. Lines start forming at midnight Saturday and Sunday morning, and they are also in desperate need of optometrists and dentists to volunteer.
For more information about the clinic and volunteering, click here..