302 patients traveled over 20 miles to the clinic, saved patients over $318,000 

Cookeville – The recent Remote Area Medical Clinic hosted by the Upper Cumberland Community Host Group and organized by Tennessee Tech University students provided patients with over $318,000 of medical care at no cost to those individuals. The clinic served 570 individual patients, surpassing the number seen in past years, with 332 patients attending a RAM clinic for the first time. 

302 patients traveled over 20 miles to the clinic, with 73 traveling over 100 miles and 19 of those driving over 200 miles to receive care. In 2021 the Cookeville group changed its name to the Upper Cumberland Community Host Group. 

They wanted to reach out to both Cookeville and the entire Upper Cumberland. 

 “Sixty-one percent of our patients were at their first RAM clinic, so I can say that we were successful in reaching out to new people,” said Alex Stovall, head lead for the UCCHG. “There are a lot of people that travel to many of the RAM Clinics and I am glad that we are able to provide that service to them, but I am proud to say that we were able to reach out to a lot of new people and have the Cookeville clinic be their first exposure to RAM. I say this because I know that here in Cookeville, we have a very high standard for the quality of service we provide, and am glad that we were able to serve these new patients with that quality of care.”

For 105 patients, this recent RAM clinic was only the second they had ever attended, with 19 patients having attended five or more RAM Clinics in the past. 

 “I can say that we met that goal with flying colors. This has been our best promotional and volunteering push to date, and it paid off,” Stovall said. 

The need for dental services was evident with 927 extractions, 174 fillings and 68 cleanings. Vision care needs were also high with 446 patients receiving glasses. The medical care team performed 120 medical exams.

The patients seen at the RAM Clinic all had different life stories and were from various backgrounds. One patient walked to the clinic for care, while another hitchhiked to get there and one family had over 10 members receiving care. The medical team saw 122 patients who had either never received medical care, had not received care in at least 10 years or could not remember last receiving care. 

Ninety-five of the patients had never had an eye exam and 130 had never been to a dentist or had not been to the dentist in over 10 years. 

 “I want to reiterate how well this clinic went,” added Stovall. “Because we keep having it every year and the host group’s mentality is always pushing to improve from the previous year, we had easy issues that were solved with easy solutions.”

The UCCHG will have different Tech students in lead roles for the 2024 RAM clinic. 

In 2024 Alexander Coker will be head lead, Kendal Ludick will be promotion lead, Brayden Copeland will be recruitment lead, Ethan Levoy will be hospitality lead, Will Collier will be parking lot lead and Dominick Coker will be fundraising lead. 

“Next year will be even better than this year’s clinic, and I can’t wait to see how this next year’s host group continues to push the envelope,” Stovall said. “The Cookeville RAM clinic has become a staple clinic over the years, and it would not be without the amazing host group members here at Tennessee Tech. They are the heart and soul of this clinic.”

For more information on RAM clinics visit https://www.ramusa.org/.

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