Remote Area Medical, a nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics, will offer medical and dental services in Northeast Baltimore this Saturday and Sunday. All services are free, and no identification is required.

Services include general medical exams, women’s health exams, dental cleanings, dental fillings, dental extractions and dental X-rays.

The nonprofit typically offers free eye exams and glasses as well, but it was not able to secure enough volunteer providers in the Baltimore area.

“While it is a disappointment that we cannot provide vision services, we are still happy to provide dental and medical services to the Baltimore area free of charge,” said Chris Cannon, Remote Area Medical’s media relations coordinator.

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Cannon said volunteers typically come “from across the U.S.” to put on an event, but Maryland regulations require out-of-state providers to go through a more involved process to volunteer — applying and paying a fee through their home-state board, then getting approval from Maryland’s board — which can be a deterrent, he said. So the nonprofit “had to rely heavily on local volunteers” and weren’t able to find willing vision providers, he said.

Clinics are usually set up under large tents or in school gymnasiums; this weekend’s event will be held at the Stadium School in the city’s Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood. If a medical problem is identified at the clinic and requires follow-up care, the nonprofit’s local collaborator, DentMed, will connect patients with primary or specialty care in the area, Cannon said.

Clinics will open at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, but the line typically forms much sooner. The patient parking lot will open no later than 11:59 p.m. (midnight) on Friday night, according to a news release, and will remain open for the duration of the clinic. Once patients are in the parking lot, they’ll receive additional information regarding clinic-opening processes and next steps, the release said.

Patients are encouraged to arrive as early as possible — especially if they are seeking dental services.

This weekend will be the third time Remote Area Medical has hosted a pop-up health care event in Baltimore; previous events took place in 2017 and 2018.

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Founded in 1985 by “retired British cowboy” Stan Brock, who died in 2018, Remote Area Medical was originally envisioned as a provider of free medical care in remote areas of developing countries, but demand in the U.S. — driven by poverty and the number of uninsured people — was so high it prompted a change in focus. The first pop-up clinic event in the U.S. took place in Sneedville, Tennessee, in 1992.

Since its founding, over 196,000 volunteers — health care providers as well as support staff — have treated more than 900,000 individuals delivering more than $189.5 million worth of free health care services at Remote Area Medical events, according to the organization’s website.

What to know before you go

What: Remote Area Medical, in collaboration with DentMed, will hold pop-up clinics offering free medical and dental services.

When: Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11. Doors open at 6 a.m. and services will be provided until capacity is reached. Lines often form much earlier.

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Where: The Stadium School, located at 1400 Exeter Hall Ave. in Baltimore.

Parking: The patient parking lot will open by 11:59 p.m. (midnight) on Friday night and will remain open for the duration of the clinic. Remote Area Medical encourages everyone who would like services, especially dental services, to arrive as early as possible.

Sarah True was a public health reporter for the Baltimore Banner. She previously worked as a freelance journalist covering healthcare and health policy, and has been both a medical social worker and a health policy analyst in a past life. She holds dual Master’s degrees in public health and social work.

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