Asst. Secretary for Health, U.S. Surgeon General meet with patients in Durant

DURANT, Okla. (KXII) - A free health clinic in Durant brought out more than just patients--some United States officials popped in to meet with local volunteers and learn about the impact the event had on Durant.

"We see about four, five hundred people. The big demand is dental and vision, eyeglasses, people are in pain."

Stan Brock founded Remote Area Medical, or RAM, three decades ago.
The goal: to provide free dental, vision, and medical services to people in rural communities--all made possible by the help of volunteers.

A few special visitors stopped by Southeastern State University on Sunday for the second half of the weekend-long event.

"What I've seen today is the impact people can have on people."

Admiral Brett Giroir is the United States Asst. Secretary for Health. He said several of the commissioned corps officers helped provide the free services to the community.

"The spirit of service has stood out to me, that everyone here is working together," Giroir said. "The great appreciation the patients have, that people care for them-- they're not just a disease, they're a person."

"We go all over the county," said United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams. "I've seen events like this in urban areas, but it's tremendous to be able to have an event like this in a rural area."

Adams also met with patients and volunteers, noting the kindness he found there.

"To be able to provide dental care-- I get emotional when I think about someone getting glasses for the first time and finally being able to see," Adams said. "The care provided is so important."

It's the second time RAM has been hosted in Durant. This year's event brought out over 500 people, all seen for free by community donors and local doctors and nurses.

"Our folks are here on their own time volunteering," Adams said. "That shows commitment to help 24/7, I'm so proud of our officers."

"It's a beautiful and inspiring thing," Giroir said.

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