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Stan Brock, founder of Remote Area Medical, dies

August 30, 2018

By David Burger

Photo of Mr. Brock
Mr. Brock
Stan Brock, the founder and president of Remote Area Medical, died from complications from a stroke Aug. 29 at the age of 82 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Remote Area Medical is a Rockford, Tennessee-based nonprofit of mobile medical clinics with a mission of preventing and alleviating pain by providing free quality care to those in need, according to its website.

"Since he began Remote Area Medical in 1985, Mr. Brock has been a tireless advocate for those in need, and through his leadership, Remote Area Medical has provided free care to more than 740,000 individuals," said Jeffrey L. Eastman, CEO of Remote Area Medical, in a statement that announced Mr. Brock's passing.

"He put 740,000 people before himself," said Remote Area Medical spokesman Robert D. Lambert in an interview with ADA News. "He lived and breathed RAM."

According to its website, Remote Area Medical's Corps of more than 120,000 Humanitarian Volunteers — licensed dental, vision, medical and veterinary professionals — have delivered $120 million worth of free health care services in the 33 years of its life.

Mr. Brock was born in England and in 1952 moved to British Guiana (now Guyana) to become a vaquero, or cowboy. Through 1968, Mr. Brock managed the Dadanawa Ranch, the world's largest cattle ranch operation, according to his online biography on Remote Area Medical's website.

"It was during Brock's time in British Guiana that his vision for RAM was born," the biography said. "After being violently thrown off of the back of a horse, Brock found he was 26 days away on foot from the nearest medical care. Brock survived the accident, but went without any medical attention.  He then vowed that he would one day bring medical care closer to the people who needed it."

On Remote Area Medical's website, Mr. Brock said, "RAM is the way I have kept a promise, not only to the Wapishana Indians, but to thousands around the world in similar health conditions. In other words, there are Wapishanas everywhere."

"Most people want to do good, but most don't have the impact Mr. Brock had," Mr. Lambert said.

In 1968, Mr. Brock arrived in the United States to begin a career in entertainment, co-hosting NBC's Emmy-winning series, "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom," which, at its height, was one of the most watched television shows in the country, with more than 32 million weekly viewers, according to the biography.

Mr. Brock was instrumental in the passage of the Tennessee Volunteer Medical Services Act of 1995, which allows health professionals with out-of-state licenses to cross state lines and provide free care, the biography said.

A celebration of life will be held in the coming weeks to celebrate Mr. Brock's life, Mr. Lambert said, and details will be announced on Remote Area Medical's social media pages and website, ramusa.org. It will be free and open to the public, he said.

In lieu of flowers, Mr. Brock requested that donations be sent to Remote Area Medical in his memory. Donations can be made at ramusa.org.

Mr. Lambert was clear about the future. "RAM is going to continue his mission," he said of Mr. Brock.