Railcare Health: UNC student brings free medical care to rural North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA (WTVD) -- Kevin Travia, a senior who is studying medicine at UNC, hopes to one day be a doctor.

A big part of that has long been focused on bringing health care to rural North Carolina.

Now, he's fulfilling that dream through Railcare Health -- a mobile medical unit.

"This is something I want to do the rest of my life," Travia, who also acts as CEO of Railcare Health, said. "You realize what you're doing is making a big impact on the community."

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Railcare Health was developed after his grandmother took a train ride down to the coast.

"She saw that there was a bunch of abandoned railcars on the side of the train tracks, and she said it 'would be really cool if somebody did something good for the community with all of these.'"

That's when Travia said he reached out to the railroad company.

His idea? Use one of the railcars to travel to different rural towns, bringing free health care. The railroad's response? No.

But that didn't stop Travia. Instead of giving up, he bought a shuttle bus which he then converted.

Through the shuttle, physicians and volunteers from local universities are able to provide free care.

Travia said he's already seeing the program make a difference.

"I remember at one point a patient came off the bus in tears, and they were just so happy that we were providing services that they just couldn't access."

Those in need of Railcare Health's help should visit its upcoming events section on its website to see when the shuttle will be in their town.
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