Free health clinic to ramp up operations in Va.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The organizers of well-attended free health care clinics plan on increasing their operations in Virginia.

Remote Area Medical founder and former TV star Stan Brock announced Tuesday at the Capitol that his organization is launching a "Stop the Suffering" campaign aimed at providing more free health clinics in Appalachian states.

Brock said one anonymous donor recently gave the group $785,000.

RAM's multi-day clinics in southwest Virginia often draw thousands of low-income residents in need free dental care, eyeglasses and medical procedures.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. William A. Hazel Jr., an orthopedic surgeon, regularly volunteers at the event and says it's the most grounding experience of being health secretary.

The announcement of RAM's expansion comes as the General Assembly continues to debate whether to expand Medicaid eligibility.

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