Congressman Steven Horsford Delivers Certificate of Congressional Recognition to Healthy Communities
2014 Reno Gazette Journal
In May of 2014, Congressman Steven Horsford presented a certificate of Congressional Recognition to Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties (HCC). He congratulated the nonprofit collaborative on its successful role as the sponsoring entity for Remote Area Medical (RAM) events that brought free health care services to 1,712 people in both southern and northern Nevada during 5 days in April. Since the 1980’s, the organization known as RAM has brought over 700 temporary “pop-up” health clinics to people across the U.S. and the world, delivering quality, free dental, vision and general medical services to those in need, no identification or registration required.
Some of Healthy Communities Coalition’s staff, board members, and group partners were on hand to accept the award on behalf of the Coalition, including Coalition director Christy McGill, HCC board member and director of Community Chest, Shaun Griffin, Carson City Health and Human Services’ Karen Allen, and HCC staff members Freida Carbery and Quest Lakes.
Congressman Horsford stayed after presenting the recognition to ask additional questions about the two recent RAM events. The RAM event in Reno reached 860 people from throughout northern Nevada, including residents of Lyon, Carson, Douglas, Washoe, etc., and provided 582 dental procedures, 357 pairs of prescription eye glasses, and hundreds of other services in the areas of women’s health, behavioral health, vaccinations, etc. The RAM event in Las Vegas reached 852 people from southern Nevada and provided 464 dental procedures and 432 prescription eye glasses, among other services.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE SERVED DURING THE RAM EVENTS? Director Christy McGill noted that data from both RAM events in Nevada showed much higher rates of children in need of services than RAM has encountered in other states. In Las Vegas more than 15% of those served were children, and in Reno more than 12% served were children, compared to an average of less than 3% child patients at RAM’s clinics in other states. She also noted that the events served a significant number of Veterans, and elderly patients in need of re-alignment for their dentures and other dental services.
McGill also pointed to data showing that the RAM events are extremely efficient in terms of cost, time, mobile equipment, data collection, numbers of patients served, and number of health care professionals and support staff required. She explained that the RAM organization has high standards for safety, licensure background checks, and referral to local follow-up treatment where needed (for instance, if a lab result indicated need for follow-up care).
HOW ARE RAM EVENTS FUNDED AND PLANNED? Within each community RAM visits, local “host” agencies such as Healthy Communities Coalition help lay the groundwork for their arrival with logistical planning, recruitment of local health care professionals and local coordination with regional groups and individuals that would like to assist. “Host” agencies identify a clinic site, and help coordinate planning amongst dozens of diverse local groups that want to participate and/or help raise funds for needed costs involved, such as costs for event site liability insurance, portable toilets, custodial services, security, accomodations, snacks for volunteers and for patients, advertising, etc. The 3-day clinic in Reno required about $12,000, while the 2-day clinic in Las Vegas required about $30,000 in funding, which was raised through donations and special events. For their part, RAM’s core team brings remarkable competence and expertise in medical expeditions to each of the temporary free clinics they schedule across the U.S. and the world, along with their mobile eye glasses lab and mobile dental and medical equipment. Often, RAM also brings along or recruits additional licensed health care professionals and general volunteers from other states.
Coalition Hosts Public Meetings: Healthy Communities Coalition, which spans a region including parts of Congressional Districts 4 and 2, has received Congressional recognition from both Congressman Horsford of District 4 and Congressman Mark Amodei of District 2 during the last year.
The Coalition is working with Remote Area Medical in hopes of bringing a series of RAM clinics to both urban and rural Nevada in 2015 as well. The Coalition invites the public to its meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 9am in various locations in Lyon, Storey and Mineral. For more information, contact Christy McGill at 246-7550.