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Fort Worth pop-up clinic offers free medical, dental and vision care this weekend

A man wearing a surgical mask and scrubs performs an eye exam. The patient peers into an eye exam machine.
Courtesy
/
Remote Area Medical
A clinician performs an eye exam at a Remote Area Medical clinic.

A free vision, dental and medical clinic is coming to north Fort Worth this weekend.

Remote Area Medical is an international nonprofit that brings free medical care to people who couldn’t otherwise find or afford it. This is RAM’s first clinic in the city.

Fort Worth’s clinic will be on Saturday and Sunday at 13901 Aviator Way. Doors will open at 6 a.m. on both days. Care is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and RAM encourages people to line up as early as possible, especially for dental care. The organization also asks patients to be prepared to choose between dental and vision.

At the clinic, patients can get:

  • Dental cleanings, fillings, extractions and x-rays
  • Eye exams, glaucoma testing, eyeglass prescriptions and eyeglasses made on-site
  • Women's health exams
  • Flu shots, full lab services and general medical exams

Poppy Green, RAM’s senior clinic coordinator, stressed that staff does not ask for ID, residency or insurance information and advised people that the wait will be long.

“Overnight, we like for people to be prepared, so come with some snacks. Make sure that you have your medications, that you’re taking them as you normally would,” he said.

As of Friday morning, a few people had already started lining up, Green said. As soon as someone gets in the door, they are guaranteed care, but the clinic is usually at capacity for the day by the early afternoon.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center invited RAM to put on the clinic, Green said. Three hundred volunteers – about half of whom are licensed medical professionals – anticipate serving hundreds of patients.

Demand for RAM’s clinics has grown since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Green said. People may have put off dental or vision care for the last few years, or they may have lost their jobs and their health insurance.

If someone has an issue that can’t be fixed in a day, RAM volunteers will connect patients with affordable providers in the community, or help enroll them in prescription savings programs like GoodRx, Green said.

“We want to make sure that the patients have their urgent needs addressed, but also that they are put on a path towards lifelong healthiness,” he said.

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at msuarez@kera.org. You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.