In the 1960s, he shot to fame as the co-host of “Wild Kingdom.” As a man who grew up among the Indians of the northern Amazon basin, Stan Brock spoke from experience.
His travels and his own personal life experiences taught him a valuable lesson — it’s hard for people around the world to get access to medical care.
In 1985, he took matters into his own hands, founding the nonprofit Remote Area Medical, or RAM. To date, the organization has provided free medical services to nearly 500,000 people around the world.
Stan says when he was living among the native populations in South America, he once was badly injured by a wild horse. The nearest doctor was a 26-day walk away. He thought someday he should help bring the doctors closer. And that’s what he’s done.
He’s not just taking his care to third-world countries. Stan says 64 percent of everything RAM performs is in the United States. He describes his spartan living conditions in Tennessee and why he runs the nonprofit organization from his home.
And his team of volunteer doctors, dentists, eye doctors, veterinarians and nurses aren’t just traveling to rural areas. They’ve set up more than 600 “special expeditions” in suburban areas, remote areas and even big cities like Los Angeles.
Stan, who is now in his mid-70s, also says they’re not just helping the uninsured. They also help employed insured people who may not have dental or vision insurance.
He explains that one of the organization’s biggest challenges isn’t getting enough medical volunteers or donations — it’s cutting through the red tape. He explains why providing free medical care, even with licensed doctors and other medical professionals, is outlawed in most states and why he’s urging states and Congress to help change those laws.
Plus, find out why he refused the $25,000 cash prize and transportation that accompanied the 2010 Inamori Ethics Prize, a prestigious award handed out every year by Case Western Reserve University.
For more information about RAM, including instructions for making a donation or visiting an upcoming expedition, click here to visit the organization’s website.