Remote Area Medical provides free eye and dental care

News 12 Now
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Remote Area Medical rolled in to Chattanooga to give residents free dental and eye care and that is something many like Elizabeth Dickson cannot get on their own.

"It’ll be great to have glasses, and it’ll be great to have dental services," said Dickson.

More than 800 patients fill the gym at Ooltewah High School to get some much needed eye and dental care.

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Dickson said she has tried before but came up short.

"I have in the past tried to see about getting dental work done, and it was in the thousand so there was no way I could afford it," said Dickson.

She knows not having the money to perform these simple procedures affects your health.

"If you do have a good mouth it goes down over the years, because you can’t afford to keep it up."

Dickson is not alone, Sherrill Strickler says this visit was timely.

"It can save my eye sight," said Strickler.

She too doesn’t have eye or dental coverage, but now she can get what her money doesn’t allow.

"I got these new eyeglasses that they just fit me for, and they’re bifocals, and bifocals are very expensive," Strickler went on to say.

Senator Bob Corker was on hand and witness something he says he personally doesn’t have to think about.

"People don’t have access to the things that many of us take for granted."

Founder of Remote Area Medical, Stan Brock, says this mission is personal for him, because he grew up in a rural area of Brazil.

"I had a very very bad accident, and the local Indians who I grew up said ‘hey, the nearest doctor is 26 days on foot,’" said Brock.

Corker added, "800 people have lined up to be here today who are getting highly professional care but they have no other way of getting it."

Remote Area Medical’s aim is to change that.