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Free health-care clinic; Professionals offer vision and medical services

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General practitioners, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists and a slew of other health professionals from across New Mexico and the country hope to provide free dental, vision and medical services to at least 400 area residents this weekend.

The New Mexico Mission of Mercy, a nonprofit that provides free dental work in the state, has partnered with the Remote Area Medical program to offer the free clinic Saturday and Sunday at Roswell High School on West Hobbs Street.

About 200 people had been signed up for one or more health services or free eyeglasses by early Saturday, said RAM’s marketing coordinator Emily McGee.

The organization will begin handing out tickets at 3 a.m. today. Care is expected to begin by 6 a.m. and to continue until everyone is seen by a health care worker. The clinic will attempt to refer people to other heath care services if needs cannot be met during the clinic hours or at one visit, McGee said. No identification is required and only basic health information needed to provide services will be collected.

The Remote Area Medical program, funded entirely by donations and grants and working nationwide as well as overseas, has come to Roswell and New Mexico for the first time in its 32-year-history at the request of the Mission of Mercy group, McGee said.

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RAM provided an estimated $133,459 in services for 266 people in Clovis last weekend. The New Mexico Mission of Mercy group has provided more than $11 million in free dental work in its 10 years of operation.