British-born Stan Brock is the founder of Remote Area Medical (RAM), a non-profit health care company that has helped organize volunteer physicians, eye doctors, dentists and support staff to set up weekend-long events in large venues that offer vital health care services to the poor and uninsured. RAM has hosted 581 events and treated more than 500,000 people with the volunteer services of 45,000 health care professionals. According to Business TN Magazine:
RAM is largely supported by small donations, and volunteers pay their own travel, lodging and food expenses. While many patients seen at these events are local, it's not uncommon for people to drive hundreds of miles and wait up to 12 hours prior to RAM opening its doors just to be seen by a doctor, no questions asked.
Today, Brock says 64% of its medical relief efforts are held stateside, and in more urban settings, as the number of Americans without jobs and insurance coverage increases. Brock likens the inaccessibility of health care service in this country to a state of emergency.
"When you look at one of these massive operations, it just looks like somebody is coping with the aftermath of a hurricane or an earthquake. It really does fit into the category of disaster training," he says.