GRAINGER COUNTY, Tenn — Remote Area Medical clinic was back in Rutledge today after two decades. The mobile clinic is designed to care for people for free who are under served or uninsured.
Doors will open again Sunday at 6 a.m. during the clinic's second and final day.
Last year, a Grainger County local asked RAM to bring its clinic to their community. After being invited and seeing there was a need, the clinic returned after 20 years.
"I'm really happy we're able to help," said clinic coordinator Kim Faulkinbury.
More than 300 volunteers filled Rutledge Middle School with one goal in mind.
"We're in Grainger County here to help people," said Faulkinbury. "It's incredible the amount of need we see and the lengths people are willing to go to to meet their healthcare needs."
Volunteers worked quickly to serve as many as they could with dental, vision and a variety of other medical services. The clinic provides a way for people to get service they never would have otherwise.
"The first girl that was here got here on Tuesday. She came all the way from Greenville," said Faulkinbury.
Because of teamwork, more than 280 people in need were helped on the first day. "There are a few places where volunteers had to come together and fill gaps in order to make care happen, and they've just done an amazing job at that," she said.
One of those volunteers, Sheila Wittkey, has been with the organization for more than a decade.
"I couldn't count on one hand the countless number of people that have said thank you," said Wittkey. The gratitude she saw during the clinic's return was priceless.
"A lady who came in this morning thought she still had root tips on the top of her mouth from when she had her teeth pulled, and they did an x-ray, and she didn't have those, and we were able to get her a new denture. She was crying because she was so happy," said Faulkinbury.
A lot of lives were changed, with many more to come on Sunday.