Volunteer airborne relief corps that provides free health care to remote areas.
The Remote Area Medical Foundation performs the administrative and fundraising tasks for the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps (RAM), which takes all-volunteer teams of medical, dental, optical, and veterinary providers who travel at their own expense to underserved communities in the U.S. and abroad. RAM is a grassroots organization and teams go only where they have been invited. The organization depends heavily on host communities to provide adequate work space, local volunteers, patient security, and ease of access, and limited follow-up care.
With a small staff, the Foundation supports the work of informing and advising host communities, recruiting professional volutneers, securing dental, vision, medical, and veterinary supplies and equipment, stocking and operating two mobile optical labs, and all aspects of free medical care frield activity. The Volunteer Corps was founded in 1985 and the Foundation was established in 1996 in Tennessee.
- Mission | Theory Of Change
Amid the uproar of opinions on programs and arguments about the state of healthcare in America, RAM strives to be a port in the storm. We realize that tfree care delivered by volunteer providers is not the answer to the crisis; it is one answer. RAM clinics change hundreds, sometimes thousands, of lives for the better in a single weekend: the pretty young woman with rotting front teeth leaves a RAM dental chair smiling and eager to start her job search; the breadwinner dad can pass his truck driving test with new RAM glasses; a community's stray cat and dog population dwindles noticeably after the RAM Veterinary Volunteers have been there. These stories could be from any town that has hosted a RAM clinic. Heeding the call, meeting the need, taking medical care where others can't - or won't - go is RAM's theory of change.
- History | Track Record
Remote Area Medical was founded by adventurer and television personality Stan Brock. As a teenager, he lived in South America in what was then British Guiana. He personally experienced the pain and danger of isolation from medical care when, as a jungle cowboy, he was seriously injured by a renegade horse. The nearest doctor was 26 days on foot away. That was when the idea of takin medical care to isolated populations came to him.
The original plan was to take volunteers to remote areas of developing countries. The very first RAM expedition was to the Huichol Indians deep in the interior mountains of Mexico. As word spread locally about the new medical relief charity, Stan got a call from a tiny town in the mountains of East Tennessee begging for dental help. In the same year, a RAM team trekked over a thousand miles to an Indian village and a couple of dentists in a pick-up truck hauled dental chairs a few miles up the road from home base to launch the Rural AMerica program. Now, the majority of RAM expeditions are in the U.S.
- Grant Usage
A grant from the One Percent Foundation will be used to purchase consumable supplies for RAM's U.S. operations. A weekend Rural AMerica clinic will use approximately $3,000 in dental supplies, $1,800 worth of lenses, drops and eyeglass manufacturing items, and $500 in general medical expenses. An urban Reach Across AMerica expedition will consume supplies at a daily rate of $2,800 in dental, $2,250 in vision care, and $1,000 in general medical. These tallies do not include fuel costs for equipment transport and at least one and sometimes both mobile optical labs.
- Financial, Staffing, & Project Summary
The 2011 and 2012 operating budget was/is approximately $3,000,000. In 2011, the organization spent about $340,000 in salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes, and there are 9 Full-Time employees and 4 Part-Time employees.
- Working Group Analysis
The Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps is a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief corps dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world. As a publicly supported all-volunteer charitable organization, volunteer doctors, nurses, pilots, veterinarians, and support workers participate in expeditions (at their own expense) in some of the world's most exciting places. Often, volunteers treat hundreds of patients a day under some of the worst condidtions. Medical supplies, medicines, facilities, and vehicles are donated. Years of research and planning have yielded a vast, carefully developed network of men and women who have come together to make RAM a highly mobile, remarkably efficient relief force. A grant from OPF would go directly to serving people in need; often, RAM provides the one chance that people in these remote areas have to get vision or dental care for years.
- Nominator Endorsement