Stan Brock
Patrick Ishmael

This afternoon I received an email from Remote Area Medical (RAM), the volunteer health care organization that largely served as the basis for Missouri's Volunteer Health Services Act of 2013. But rather than announce another one of their great public service events, this email had bad news. Stan Brock, RAM's founder, has died.

From the email:

It is with great sadness that Remote Area Medical announces the passing of our Founder and President, Stan Brock. Mr. Brock passed away today in Knoxville, Tennessee at the age of 82. Since he began RAM in 1985, Mr. Brock has been a tireless advocate for those in need, and through his leadership, RAM has provided free care to more than 740,000 individuals.

Without Mr. Brock, RAM would not have been able to prevent pain and alleviate suffering for so many people. While Mr. Brock’s death is a great loss to the organization, RAM will continue championing his legacy and caring for those in need. Mr. Brock built a strong organization led by a dedicated 12-member Board of Directors, 34 staff members, and tens of thousands of volunteers and donors. Together, they will continue to fulfill the mission set by Mr. Brock so many years ago in the jungle of Guyana.

I met Stan for the first time at a Cato Institute conference some years ago, and I was struck by not only the quality of the organization itself, but by the effervescent attitude that Brock brought to providing high quality care, free of charge, to the nation's poorest and most at-risk individuals. He was a force of nature who was not shy about offering help in a crisis.

But while his personality was larger than life, he always struck me as a humble man intent on finding ways to serve. I join thousands of others mourning his loss but am thankful that RAM, an organization he founded and led for so long, will continue doing the good work he started.

For those seeking more information about RAM, this 60 Minutes segment from 2008 summarizes it well.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.