news-category: Christian Life and Service

Gardner-Webb College of Health Sciences Partners with Remote Area Medical to Serve Community

A volunteer at the Remote Area Medical Clinic works to sterilize dental tools.

Volunteer Healthcare Providers and Support Staff Serve Over 50 People in Two Days

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Over 300 volunteers responded to the call from Gardner-Webb University’s College of Health Sciences to partner with Remote Area Medical on Sept. 23-24 to provide free medical and dental care to over 50 people. Seven patients, who had eyeglass prescriptions less than a year old, also received free glasses.

The clinic was held at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Community Life Center, 1205 Northside Drive, Shelby, N.C. The first patient in line arrived almost 24 hours before the clinic opened to ensure her spot. Most of the patients (35) received free dental services, such as dental X-rays, cleanings, extractions, and fillings, and the others (30) came for medical services. Some received more than one service.

Dean of the College of Health Sciences Dr. Nicole Waters was pleased with the response from the Gardner-Webb campus and the surrounding area.

“On behalf of the College of Health Sciences, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Community Life Center’s invaluable support in allowing us to host a free medical/dental clinic in the community,” Waters praised. “Their patience, understanding, and trust in the Remote Area Medical services are greatly appreciated. In addition, I would like to thank Nate Evans, vice president of Advancement; his guidance and support significantly impacted our project. I would also like to thank the generosity of donor gifts for making this opportunity possible. Together, we provided much-needed healthcare services to those who may not have had access otherwise.”

Remote Area Medical (RAM), based in Rockford, Tenn., is a major nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics. The organization relies on a team of medical and non-medical volunteers from the community and across the country to deliver free dental, vision and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals. In 2022, RAM volunteers served nearly 22,000 individuals with a value of care worth more than $7.9 million.

Mary Brown, volunteer manager with RAM, who is a longtime volunteer herself, said it was a great first clinic for Shelby. “I look forward to the opportunity for RAM to be invited back to the area again to help people in need of care,” she stated.

The idea to bring RAM to Cleveland County, N.C., was proposed by Marissa DiMatteo, a GWU senior biology and psychology major. She had volunteered with the organization and felt that Gardner-Webb could help sponsor a clinic in the area. She approached GWU President William M. Downs, who put her in touch with Waters, who took the idea and started planning to host a RAM clinic.

DiMatteo was thankful for everything the GWU staff and faculty did to help bring the clinic to the area. She plans to go to medical school when she graduates and also appreciates the support and advice she’s received from her professors. “I am very thankful that I came to Gardner-Webb for my education,” she asserted. “I think coming here gave me the opportunity to have a clinic in the area. There was so much that happened behind the scenes to make the clinic happen.”

Waters said the College of Health Sciences staff and faculty welcome the opportunity to serve the community. “Our collaboration benefited the individuals who received care and strengthened the bond between the College of Health Sciences and Cleveland County,” Waters affirmed. “We look forward to continuing this partnership and hope to continue contributing to the community’s well-being.”

About Remote Area Medical

Founded in 1985 by Stan Brock, RAM has partnered with over 196,000 volunteers—comprised of professional practitioners, as well as general support staff—to treat more than 900,000 individuals delivering more than $189.5 million worth of free healthcare services. Volunteers are needed to serve in clinics across the U.S. To volunteer, go to or call 865-579-1530.

About Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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