Remembering Stan Brock: RAM founder who provided free healthcare clinics to thousands


Stan Brock, one of the region’s most prominent humanitarians, has died at the age of 82 after a battle with prostate cancer. 

Brock founded Remote Area Medical out of Knoxville, Tennessee in 1985 and has since worked to provide free healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country.

He rose to fame co-hosting the Emmy-award-winning television series “Mutal of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” even starring in several films. 

But his real legacy is not one he leaves behind on the screen. It is a life of service spent behind the scenes. 

His impact on Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia can hardly be put into words. 

“The impact that he has made, I mean lives saved. Countless lives saved and the mortality and morbidity that has been adverted,” says Dr. Teresa Tyson, who directs the Health Wagon in Wise, Virginia. She worked closely with Brock over the years.

His life’s mission was left behind through RAM. He pioneered the use of mobile medical clinics to provide free dental, vision and medical services to those would could not afford it otherwise. 

“I think that we have lost the greatest humanitarian this world has ever seen in my eyes,” says Tyson. 

His efforts have saved lives in our region and across the globe. 

“In the early days in the 80’s it was Stan and maybe two or three other doctors and myself borrowing someone’s airplane and flying down to Mexico and putting on a clinic down there. Now it’s grown to just a great organization. That really is Stan’s legacy, is the people. The people and the volunteers,” says RAM Vice President John Myers. 

One of RAM’s biggest areas of impact is in Wise, Virginia. For the past 19 years, RAM has worked with the Health Wagon in Wise County to serve over 100,000 patients. This remains the largest medical outreach in the country to this day.

“We certainly live in a region where there are significant healthcare disparities. Stan was all about trying to turn those disparities around,” says Tyson. 

Tyson says Brock’s vision to help others will live on long after his death.

“We just have to live on and let a little bit of Stan live on through us,” she says.

Tyson announced the Health Wagon will name all future health related outreaches the “Brock Appalachian Medical Health Expeditions” in his honor. 

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam released a statement following his visit of the most recent Wise County RAM clinic in July. 

He said in part, “We owe the passage of Medicaid expansion in the commonwealth to the work of tireless advocates like Stan, and I am grateful that I had the chance to see him at this year’s RAM clinic in Wise to share my gratitude for his work and that achievement.” 

The 20th RAM clinic in Wise, Virginia will take place in June 2019. 

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