UC Optometry: one of many Berkeley medical practices taking part in a free clinic

Several Berkeley medical practices, including UC Berkeley Optometry, are taking part in a phenomenal initiative this week called RAM (Remote Area Medical) that provides free medical, dental and optometry to underserved communities.

Thousands of patients are expected to turn up to the Oakland Coliseum today through Sunday for full screenings and exams, as well as treatments such as facial surgery.

When the program was in Oakland last year, some 3,000 pairs of glasses were produced on the spot and dispensed over four 12-hour days, says UC Berkeley’s Edward Revelli.

All the 600 or so providers are usually local doctors and volunteers donating their time — doctors such as Daniel Nam, a dentist with offices in San Francisco and Oakland, who also volunteers at the Berkeley Free Clinic. Read more about him and the program in this Chronicle story.

Berkeley Optometry will be dedicating faculty, residents, interns and students to the four-day program.

RAM runs March 22-March 25, 6am-6pm. For full details check the RAM website.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...