Case Studies

UVA Health System - The Wise Remote Area Medical (RAM) Program

Charlottesville, VA

What is it?
The Wise Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic is a two-and-a-half-day free clinic held in Wise, Va., each July. The scope of the event is stunning in both the numbers of patients needing services and the numbers of volunteers who come together to help. On-site participating clinical services include internal medicine, gynecology, cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, and ear, nose and throat. Other services — psychiatry, dermatology and ophthalmology — participate through the health system’s groundbreaking telemedicine network.

Who is it for?
Residents of southwestern Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Why do they do it?
In partnership with local organizations, UVA Health System is helping to meet the immediate health care needs of 188,000 residents in southwestern Virginia (an area known as “Coal Counties”), while developing resources for sustained care. The RAM Clinic has been the ideal vehicle to develop partnerships to address the immediate and long-term needs of Coal County residents. Partnerships with others already providing medical care in the area have become a successful model for health care delivery.

UVA Health System also uses the RAM Clinic as a starting point to strengthen health care year-round in Coal Counties. In addition to making referrals, UVA Health System presented a telemedicine unit to the Saint Mary’s Health Wagon, one of its RAM partners, to provide ongoing specialty care to the uninsured of that community. UVA’s involvement in the RAM Clinic has established a pattern for other outreach efforts in southwestern Virginia.

In July 2006, 1,122 patients received medical care or services; UVA Health System provided a team of 137 physicians, nurses, technicians, social workers and other providers for the event.

Contact: Dawn Niles
Project Coordinator, Community Relations
Telephone: 434-924-2946

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