Stan Brock, founder of mobile medical services for needy passes away

Stan Brock (Photo taken from RAMs Facebook Page)

The Founder of Remote Area Medical (RAM), Stan Brock died yesterday in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA at the age of 82 after having pioneered mobile medical services for underserved communities in Guyana and around the world.

RAM, is a major non-profit organization that operates mobile medical clinics delivering free, high-quality vision, dental, and medical care to women, men, and children who do not have access to, or cannot afford a doctor.

His death was announced yesterday just after 4 pm on the organisation’s Facebook Page in a post which read, “Without Mr. Brock, RAM would not have been able to prevent pain and alleviate suffering for so many people. While Mr. Brock’s death is a great loss to the organization, RAM will continue championing his legacy and caring for those in need. Mr. Brock built a strong organization led by a dedicated 12-member Board of Directors, 34 staff members, and tens of thousands of volunteers and donors. Together, they will continue to fulfill the mission set by Mr. Brock so many years ago in the jungle of Guyana.”

Brock, like his organization, is no stranger to Guyana where he gained fame as a vaquero while managing the Dadanawa Ranch which is located along the Rupununi River, deep in the southern savannah, from 1952 to 1968.

According to information on RAM’s website, in addition to being a vaquero in Guyana, Brock, a native of Preston, Lancashire, England also became a “bush pilot” and subsequently acquired numerous ratings and certifications, including those of an airline transport pilot.

It was noted that his decision to establish RAM came after he sustained a serious horse related injury while at Dadanawa, a location that was some 26 days away from the nearest medical facility, and as a promise to the Wapishana People, with whom he worked with in the South Rupununi, to bring medical care closer to the people who needed it.

Stabroek News understands that RAM was initially founded to serve as a safety net provider of free medical care in remote areas of developing countries like Guyana, but almost immediately after beginning operations, Brock began receiving requests to operate medical clinics in the United States of America.

This ultimately resulted in the operation of the first American RAM clinic on May 9, 1992 in Sneedville, Tennessee, USA. The organisation continues to operate in Guyana as well, providing a free, year-round, air ambulance programme which offers emergency medical transportation to villagers in need of urgent health care services

In addition to his humanitarian work, Brock in 1968, began co-hosting NBC’s Emmy winning series, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, one of the most watched television shows in the US, with more than 32 million weekly viewers.

“He has been recognized as a CNN Hero in 2012, and most recently, in 2017, he joined the ranks of other prominent leaders like President Jimmy Carter and Mother Teresa when the Lions Club International Foundation recognized him with the Lions International Humanitarian Award. RAM’s work has been covered by national and international news media, including CBS’ 60 Minutes, NBC’s Nightline, New York Times, Washington Post, TIME Magazine, The Guardian, and The Times of London,” the website said.

Stabroek News understands that since RAM began in 1985, Brock served without compensation as founder and president up until his passing yesterday.

The details of the celebration of life service which is expected to take place in the coming weeks to honour Brock will be announced on RAM’s social media pages, on RAM’s website, and through RAM’s newsletter.

RAM’s Corps of more than 120,000 Humanitarian Volunteers–licensed dental, vision, medical, and veterinary professionals–have treated more than 740,000 people and 67,000 animals, delivering US$120 million worth of free health care services, its website said.

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