Area residents in need of dental, medical and vision care will have the opportunity to get free attention this weekend when Remote Area Medical (RAM) brings its free clinic to Madisonville on Saturday and Sunday.

Founded in 1985, RAM is an organization that provides more than 60 free mobile medical clinics around the world annually, with most occurring in rural communities.

"Two years ago I attended my first RAM clinic in Columbia, Tennessee," said local contact Linda Pierce, NP, who works at Fast Pace Care on North Main in Madisonville. "I was amazed at how many people benefited from this program."

Since attending that first clinic, Pierce has dreamed about bringing the program to western Kentucky. With the help of local volunteers and Grace Warehouse Church, that dream has become a reality. RAM will officially be see patients on Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15 at the church.

But Pierce warns those in need of care not to wait until the last minute.

"People will start lining up the night before the clinic opens," she said. "At one of the other clinics I volunteered at, the man who was nineteenth in line said he'd already been in line when RAM arrived the day before."

RAM will hand out numbers to those in line, beginning at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday for that day, and then again on Sunday for those who wish to attend on Sunday. The number of tickets given out will be determined by the number of volunteers who show up to provide care for patients.

In addition to the free medical services that will be offered, RAM will also be offering free dental and vision exams and treatments.

Dental patients can get free x-rays, and have teeth either filled or pulled. Due to time restraints, patients cannot get both done on their visit. The number of fillings or the number of teeth pulled will be determined by the dentist they see.

Those needing to see the eye doctor will get an exam and a pair of glasses. Glasses will be made in a trailer on site and available the same day.

RAM is open to everyone, organizers only ask that those wishing to see the doctor bring a list of any medications that they are taking.

Grace Warehouse Church is located on South Main Street in Madisonville.

Reach MATT HUGHES at 270-667-2068 or