Tech students to conduct RAM Clinic at Cookeville High

Preparing for this weekend’s Remote Area Medical Clinic at Cookeville High are (from left) Maryo Toma, clinic flow coordinator; Samuel LeFave, recruitment chair; Janet Coonce, advisor; Austin Buck, Putnam County community host group leader; Poppy Green, RAM coordinator; Seth Crum, Tech ChemMED president and community host group leader; Geoffrey Pippin, recruitment co-chair; Jessica Obenberger, hospitality chair; Katelyn Gipe, clinic flow coordinator; Jacey Cartwright, hospitality co-chair; Loni Maughnan, RAM coordinator; and James C. Gray, M.D., medical coordinator.

COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Tech students will be getting hands-on medical experience this weekend at the 2019 Putnam County Remote Area Medical Clinic.

Based in Rockford, Remote Area Medical provides free medical, dental, and vision care to hundreds of thousands of people through the operation of mobile medical clinics. The Cookeville RAM clinic was created by former Tech student Wade Seagrave six years ago and is being held at Cookeville High School for the fourth straight year.

“It’s a wonderful experience for our students. It’s a wonderful experience for everybody,” said RAM advisor and Tech chemistry instructor Janet Coonce. “It has grown tremendously. It still takes a tremendous amount of work, but it’s working better because of the communication.”

The Cookeville RAM clinic includes free dental such as fillings, cleanings and extractions; free vision such as eye exams, glaucoma testing and eye glasses made on site; and free medical which includes general medical, physicals and women’s health.

The clinic is led by Tech students, who have planned and recruited dentists, optometrists, doctors and volunteers for the two-day event.

“It makes me very, very proud to see our students be a part of this,” said Coonce. “I’m more proud of these students and what they are doing at the clinic than what I see in a classroom.” 

Austin Buck, a biology major from Cookeville, is one of several Tech students who have been involved in the planning process and who will be working diligently this Saturday and Sunday.

“Working the clinics really opens your eyes and gets you fired up and makes you want to come back year after year,” said Buck, a 2015 graduate of Cookeville High School. “As a future healthcare provider, I want to see people’s lives changed.”

Seeing Cookeville High’s gym turned into a medical clinic is quite a change for Samuel LeFave. A biochemistry major from Cookeville, LeFave graduated from CHS in 2017.

“I don’t think I would have ever envisioned the gym as being a clinic,” said LeFave. “Now, seeing it, I think it means more to be a clinic than it does to be a gym.” 

The parking lot opens at midnight on Friday and ticket distribution will begin at 3 a.m. The RAM clinic is free and open to the public without any qualifying questions and an ID is not required.

“There is a face behind the pain that is in our community coming to a place that I knew as a school that is now a healing place,” said LeFave. “There is nothing more powerful than that.”

For more information on the RAM clinic, visit

Submit your story ideas to the Upper Cumberland Business Journal! via email.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.