- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

MANATEE, Fla. (AP) - A Manatee clinic was able to provide nearly $1 million in free health, dental and vision services to more than 1,600 patients, organizers estimated.

The Remote Area Medical USA clinic was held Saturday and Sunday at Manatee Technical College, the Bradenton Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1OaS611).

By the time organizers met for a debriefing, figures were still being calculated but preliminary numbers were available. Florida RAM event chairman Dr. Richard Conrad said that over the clinic’s two days, there were 1,054 dental procedures performed, 467 pairs of glasses made and distributed and 501 general medical exams performed, among other services.

The program also distributed books, meals and bottles of water.

The clinic saw 800 patients Saturday and had to turn people away, asking them to come back at 3 a.m. Sunday, when the ticket distribution would begin again. By 3:15 a.m., vice chairman Glen Gibellina said he had handed out all 400 tickets for Sunday.

The 400 tickets were limited to dental and vision services because of fewer volunteers in those areas Sunday. The clinic continued to take people who needed medical care until noon.

“You gave them a ray of hope that we were going to be back next year, but more importantly had something to offer,” Gibellina said. “We were trying to get them in to at least get a physical, get checked for diabetes, a flu shot.”

The weekend was made possible by 740 volunteers.

Conrad said RAM USA has committed to return to Manatee County next year.

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Information from: The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald , https://www.bradenton.com

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