JUNE 2010

Photo by: Reed Hutchinson

UCLA Volunteers Bring Free Medical Care to Thousands

UCLA volunteers delivered much-needed medical care to low-income patients as part of the weeklong Remote Area Medical (RAM) free health clinic, the largest in the nation.

Approximately 100 UCLA doctors and volunteer healthcare staff and more than 1,000 patients descended upon the L.A. Sports Arena near downtown Los Angeles on April 28 to participate.

The Remote Area Medical free clinics travel the country providing care to underserved communities using an all-volunteer workforce to help individuals who have lost their jobs and low-income workers with no health insurance. UCLA staff from the schools of medicine, nursing and dentistry as well as the Jules Stein Eye Institute, among others, showed up in force.

Dr. Michael Rodriguez and medical student Peter Kierstead check a lump on a patient’s wrist.
Photo by: Reed Hutchinson

UCLA’s participation was coordinated by Michael Rodriguez, M.D., professor in UCLA’s Department of Family Medicine.

The weeklong RAM/LA clinic aimed to serve 1,200 patients each day. For many, it was their only chance to see primary-care doctors, dentists, ophthalmologists and other specialists. The university also sent the UCLA Mobile Eye Clinic; donated lab test equipment, including 400 pregnancy tests and 4,000 urine dipsticks; and donated $5,000 worth of urological supplies.

A UCLA RV parked at one end of the arena floor housed two ophthalmology examination rooms. Tucked under the bleachers were 40 UCLA doctors and medical students working side by side in curtained exam rooms in the general medicine area.

Volunteering in the community is part of the UCLA mission, says A. Eugene Washington, M.D., vice chancellor of health sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, who along with Alan Robinson, M.D., associate vice chancellor of medical sciences and executive associate dean of the medical school, fully supported the clinic.

To watch a video of the RAM clinic event, visit: http://streaming.uclahealth.org/ram-la