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The Voice of Southwest Louisiana March 2018 Issue

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine March 2018

SWLA news OPERATION

SWLA news OPERATION HEALING AND RESTORATION TO PROVIDE FREE DENTAL, VISION AND MEDICAL CARE IN LAKE CHARLES Mayor Nic Hunter recently announced a first time opportunity in Lake Charles and Louisiana for residents to receive free dental, vision and medical care. Operation Healing and Restoration, in partnership with Remote Area Medical (RAM), scheduled at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Saturday and Sunday, September 15 -16, 2018. Created and founded in 1985 was RAM to serve as a safety net provider of free medical care in remote areas of developing countries, such as Guyana, Mexico and Haiti. RAM is the largest nongovernmental provider of medical clinics delivering free high-quality dental, vision and medical care to underserved and underinsured individuals, children and families. Those needing care do not need proof of insurance, residency or income. The clinic will run all day Saturday and half a day Sunday, with both days beginning at 6 a.m. Almost immediately after beginning operations, the organization began By Brenda Hill receiving requests to operate medical clinics in the United States. “None of this would be possible without financial support. Partnerships are the most important word in my administration. We can do so much more when we pool our resources,” says Mayor Hunter. Pictured above: Mayor Hunter and Emily Ashworth, RN, BSN, City Wellness Coordinator introduced Partnerships with Representatives and Leadership Team Members: Parish Police Jury, Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps, West Cal Cam Hospital, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital, CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital, Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, and United Way of Southwest Louisiana as partnerships. “We need more partnerships like this between government, nonprofit and private institutions to address needs in the community,” said Mayor Hunter. Emily Ashworth, RN, BSN, City Wellness Nurse Coordinator says, “The clinic’s goal is meeting the immediate needs of residents while connecting them with affordable, long term care options. Many people in Southwest Louisiana struggle to pay for medical treatment on top of other expenses,” says Ashworth. A RAM clinic in Houston served over 600 in one weekend but could have served over a 1,000 if more medical providers and residents had volunteered, according to Ashworth. (See Health Wealth & Wellness for more details on page 7.) Hundreds of healthcare professionals, residents and volunteers are needed for this event’s success. Those wishing to volunteer may register at www.ramusa. org. For more information, please call 337 491-1378 or email emily.ashworth@ cityoflc.us The City of Lake Charles fully complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act, and related statutes, executive orders, and regulations in all programs and activities. The City operates without regard to race, color, national origin, income, gender, age, and disability. Any person who believes him/herself or any specific class of persons, to be subjected to discrimination prohibited by Title VI/ Americans with Disabilities Act may, by him/herself or by representative, file a written complaint with the City of Lake Charles. The City’s Title VI Coordinator/ ADA Coordinator may be reached by phone at (337) 491-1440, the Mayor’s Action Line at (337) 491-1346, or contact the appropriate Department Head. 6 March 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 5 • Number 8

SWLA health, wealth & wellness Inform, Educate, Empower Emily and Jhulio Rivers-Strategic National Stockpile Coordinator, Cameron County, Texas Department of Public Health Dental Set-up Remote Area Medical (RAM) OPERATION HEALING AND RESTORATION By Emily Ashworth, RN, BSN I attended an event in Dallas, Texas, several months ago, where I met two men from an organization called Remote Area Medical (RAM). They shared with me the background history of RAM, how it was founded and created in 1985 to provide free dental, medical and vision care to those that need it, In addition, with no proof of insurance, residency or income. I listened to them as they spoke about what they do for those that needed glasses, and much needed dental work and could not afford it. RAM has hosted over 800 clinics worldwide delivering millions of dollars in free healthcare. I knew employees that I serve at the City of Lake Charles could be helped. Not only would those employees benefit from this type of program, but community members also. Mayor Nicholas Hunter and I met to discuss the possibility of hosting a similar event here in Lake Charles. Planning began immediately and the first meeting with community leaders took place in December, after I attended a RAM clinic in Houston, Texas on December 9th. In order to gain a better understanding of RAM and how impactful it is, leaders from Calcasieu Parish Medical Reserve Corps, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Health System, CHRISTUS Lake Area Hospital, Lake Charles Memorial, Moss Memorial, West Cal-Cam Hospital, United Way, Southwest Louisiana Center for Health Services, and so many others came together to hear more about the event. It is leadership, dedication, compassion, the love of everyone, volunteers from the community and surrounding areas and answered prayers that birthed this event. This type of event will give hope to those who attend. Operation Healing and Restoration can offer medical, dental, and vision services from pediatrics to adults with no proof of residency, income, or insurance based on the providers that volunteer in these areas. Therefore, WE NEED YOU!!! This event cannot be successful without the help of volunteers. We need you to help Stephen Blackstock-Clinic Coordinator for RAM RAM vehicle where eye glasses are made us help those in need. We need not only health care professionals to serve families in need, we need translators, intercessors, counselors, health educators, and more. You can go to www.cityoflakecharles. com and click on Operation Healing and Restoration and follow the instructions to register if you would like to volunteer. For more information contact me at 337-491-1378 or emily.ashworth@ cityoflc.us. Be Well! Volume 5 • Number 8 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM March 2018 7

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