“The main purpose in helping is letting people know they are not alone, and encouraging them to help others also.” – Danny Chacko, DMD
Dr. Chacko’s motto and mission statement perfectly explains why he volunteers at RAM clinics.
Dr. Chacko was born in India and grew up in Frankfort, Kentucky. He attended Kentucky State University for undergraduate studies and went to dental school at the University of Louisville. He currently lives and practices dentistry in the remote area of Scott County, Tennessee. He found his way to the area in a bit of a roundabout way. A friend invited him to join a dental practice in Lafollette, Tennessee. Eventually, his friend opened a satellite office in Scott County, and Dr. Chacko stayed due to the kindness of people who live in that area.
Volunteering his time and skills is not a new thing to Dr. Chacko. He has volunteered at over 30 RAM clinics, most recently in Scott County. His first clinic was in Knoxville, Tennessee. “I met great volunteers who became great friends.” For Dr. Chacko, RAM clinics are outlets to both apply specific skills and make a difference in the world. “You are blessed with a skill to make a difference. RAM provides a great platform in which to make a difference with others who feel the same way.”
A very important part of Dr. Chacko’s life is his religious faith. When he speaks about his skills as a dentist he gives most of the credit to God. “Dentistry is something we can let God’s gift be known to others.”
That statement can be and should be the feeling and sentiment of the entire health care industry. When people are sick or in need and have no one to turn to, that is when they are at their most vulnerable and desperate. Seeing the smile on a person’s face when he or she leaves a RAM clinic is just amazing. When a person genuinely thanks you because you just made their overall well-being better, the feeling is priceless.
It is volunteers like Dr. Danny Chacko who make it possible for Remote Area Medical to fulfill our mission, which is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering. RAM started as an idea formulated by a great humanitarian by the name of Stan Brock, but RAM has evolved into a community of people helping another community of people.
Once a person has experienced a RAM clinic they cannot help but be forever changed.
“Empathy is the highest form of intelligence. The most educated is the one who can make the most wounded person feel seen and accepted.”