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Remote Area Medical Clinic returns to Ashtabula to help hundreds with free care

Clinic offered free medical, dental, vision care
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Posted at 10:32 PM, Apr 03, 2022

ASHTABULA, Ohio — The Remote Area Medical Clinic (RAM) returned to Ashtabula this weekend at Lakeside High School after a two-year hiatus from the pandemic.

In 2018, Ashtabula was the first in the state of Ohio to bring a RAM Clinic to the community. Community members and medical professionals from across the country volunteered their time to help the underinsured and uninsured. RAM offers free medical, vision and dental care with the help of more than 800 volunteers.

“For people who have to choose ‘Do I pay for my prescription medication, or my kids' extracurricular activities or do I go to the dentist,’ that may be a hard choice for them,” Ashtabula County Commissioner J.P. Ducro said. “This is an opportunity for them to not have to sacrifice something else in order to get the medical, dental, or vision care they need. It’s small-town America showing their stuff.”

Ashtabula has offered the RAM clinic twice, providing almost $1.5 million in free care. This weekend, clinic organizers said they helped more than 500 patients.

In a recent News 5 story, Dr. Debra Balogh-Crombie said 40% of Ohioans do not have dental insurance.

“People are coming in embarrassed to open their mouths and very hesitant and they're walking out grinning ear to ear,” she said. “The payment is a thank you and a hug. That's soul food right there.”