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UVa-Wise alumna Mullis gives back by volunteering at RAM 2011

Those who know Amanda Mullis ’10 will not be surprised that the medical student spent three long days volunteering in the sweltering heat at the Remote Area Medical free health clinic in July.

Mandy MullisMullis is in her second year as a medical student at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Classes begin again in early August for the Norton native, but she wanted to do something more than rest this summer. The RAM clinic fit the bill.

“I felt like I needed to come home and give back to the area that gave me so much,” Mullis said as she stood outside a mobile healthcare unit at the Wise County Fairgrounds on the first day of the clinic.

The crowd gathered a day or two before the clinic opened because hundreds of working people who have no insurance often rely on the medical, dental and vision care they receive from RAM. Mullis spent Thursday evening catching up with friends at a Norton restaurant, but got up early to volunteer for the Healthwagon, a local healthcare organization that travels across various parts of the region in a large recreational vehicle to bring medical care to those in need. The Healthwagon is one of the sponsors of RAM.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” she said. “I get to do something that makes me feel good, and hopefully, I can help others.

Dozens of women entered the Healthwagon to receive various examinations and to learn more about health issues. If the volunteers or medical personnel noted potential problems or issues with patients, the women would be referred to specialists who were among the hundreds of RAM medical volunteers.

Mullis has wanted to be a physician for many years. She is close to reaching her goal. While at UVa-Wise, she received academic scholarships that she said made a real difference in her life. She received the E. Glenwood King Scholarship, the Thelma Phipps Weaver & D.C. Phipps Scholarship and the Roy and Ruth Wells Scholarship in Chemistry.

UVa-Wise prepared her for the rigors of medical school, Mullis said.

“I’ve always strived to do more than asked of me,” she said. “UVa-Wise gave me the tools to succeed.”