Local residents will get a change at better health in August, when the Westchester-based Collaborative Underserved Relief and Education (CURE) Network opens the doors at Malcolm X College. Volunteer physicians, ophthalmologists and dentists -- along with auxiliary and support staff -- will provide three days of free care to needy patients.
Plans are in place for a three-day event at Chicago’s Malcolm X College Aug. 19-21. A partnership with RAM will bring portable units and 20 volunteers to oversee logistics on site, while CURE leaders are working now to secure volunteers and funding for the event.
According to executive director Josette Szalko, the event will require at least $225,000 and 500 volunteers, both professionals and lay people.
Chicago is in great need of our services and we hope you will commit one day of your time to helping us reach out and serve those individuals who have limited options for dental care. If you have helped with Mission of Mercy in the past, you know how fulfilling this type of experience is. If you have the desire to volunteer, but just haven't done it yet, this is your opportunity to reach out and positively affect the lives of thousands of Chicagoans. Volunteer dentists and auxiliaries are needed at CURE’s inaugural event to provide cleanings, X-rays and fillings, extractions and some more complex restorative procedures to an estimated 1,000 patients per day. The clinic will be open between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
To volunteer, please visit www.ramvolunteers.org to register. All you need is a valid dental license and a few moments of your time to complete the registration process. We encourage dental volunteers to bring their own assistants, if possible, to be as efficient as possible.
Also on site in August, physicians will provide check-ups, heart tests, gynecological and prostate exams, and screenings for diabetes and skin cancer to 1,000 patients per day (a $1.1 million value). Vision services will include basic eye exams, refraction, ophthalmologic evaluation and prescription glasses in the Mission of Mercy and Remote Area Medical's (RAM) mobile vision lab for 500 patients a day (a $700,000 value).
CURE was founded in 2010 by physician Ken Nelson and ophthalmologist Rama Jager, who knew that local clinics had long waiting lists full of patients with limited resources but tremendous needs for basic care — and even longer waiting lists for specialty care. The doctors knew about successful care events like those hosted by RAM, and felt confident that local healthcare providers would make a homegrown event similarly successful.