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Katie Falkenberg June 23, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Waiting for Free Medical Care. Virginia 2009

Katie Falkenberg (b. 1981, United States) is a freelance photographer based in Los Angeles, California. She began her career photographing the 2004 presidential campaign, which led her to Washington, D.C., where she covered the White House, Capitol Hill, and other stories throughout the nation’s capital. In the fall of 2006, Katie joined the staff of The Washington Times where assignments took her from the hollows of West Virginia to the mountains of Pakistan. Her photography and multimedia work have been awarded by Pictures of the Year International, the White House News Photographers Association, Editor & Publisher, and the NPPA. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, TIME, Rolling Stone, GQ, and Vanity Fair, among others.

About the Photograph:

“At the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic in southwestern Virginia, thousands of people gathered outside of the fairgrounds gate each morning before dawn, waiting for their number to be called so they could enter into the clinic to receive free dental, vision, and medical treatment. The people in this photograph were still outside of the gate in the afternoon, hoping to be called before they stopped accepting patients. The family to the left of the photo said that this was a “once-a-year effort to get their eyes and teeth worked on,” so they were willing to wait as long as it took to get in. Most of the people who came to the clinic said that if it were not for RAM, they would go without this vital care. People drove hundreds of miles and waited for hours, even days, sleeping in their cars and tents outside the fairgrounds gate, hoping to make the cut-off of those admitted. Still, at the end of the weekend, some people had to be turned away as time ran out.”

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