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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Ambulatory & Primary Health Care, Community Health Systems, Health, Human Service Organizations

Mission: To promote and guide the development of a national network of free clinics emphasizing the use of retired medical and community volunteers within a Culture of Caring to improve access to health care for America's uninsured.

Results: There are currently 96 VIM clinics located in 29 states, providing over 400,000 patient visits to uninsured members of their communities. Over 11,500 medical and non-medical volunteers help staff the clinics and deliver the care. The national VIM office provides support services to open clinics while continuing to assist in the development of additional clinics across the country.

Geographic areas served: Volunteers in Medicine will provides assistance to community across the country.

Programs: Volunteers in Medicine is the only national nonprofit dedicated to the development of free health care clinics for the uninsured. VIM clinics depend on local leadership, community organization and sound planning for sustainability. Experienced VIM staff provide assistance and resource materials through each step of the clinic development process.  A site visit is required to assess leadership potential, trouble shoot and further guide the planning process. Each local organizing committee is required to complete a feasibility study to assess the needs and resources of the community to determine the viability of a VIM clinic VIM clinics emphasize the Culture of Caring treating each person who enters the clinic with dignity and respect. Within this culture, volunteer medical professionals are able to practice pure medicine without the business of medicine and patients are treated as friends and neighbors not a diseases or numbers.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The list-serve established for VIM clinics is our go to place to connect with other VIMs to see how they handle the problems commom to all free clinics. It's a great resource for us and we are proud to be a VIM clinic.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a VIM clinic, we rely on the national office to be our resource for clinic related questions. The staff is always extremely helpful and very considerate. We would not function well without them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our free clinic just opened in March, 2013. We initially contacted Volunteers in Medicine a few months prior to that. The expertise, knowledge, and resources provided by them to us were instrumental in our successful opening. Any question I had (and there were a lot!) was promptly met with an informed, helpful response. It was great to know that when something was brought up that we didn't have an answer for, we had a quick and easy place to turn. Now, with several months under our belt, we continue to have new questions and the VIM forum has continued to be a fantastic resource. Our site visit from Marge Hamrell was very instructive ; she has an extremely helpful, pleasant manner , and her years of experience were a wonderful advantage for us. Volunteers in Medicine has truly guided us to a successful clinic opening this year.

Comments ( 1 )

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skelley 06/19/2013

Kacey, thank you for your comment!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with LVIM has been the most rewarding volunteer job of my life. After years of volunteering on various boards I have moved into a very hands-on job at LVIM and work directly with patients. Between interacting with patients, working with the staff and dealing with drug companies there is never a dull moment. It is always good to leave at the end of the day feeling your time has been well spent and you have actually made a difference in people's lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Vim-Jax is a beehive of activity. It’s an exciting place to be. I myself have watched from the inside as this amazingly efficient organization has evolved from a small clinic to a complex operation.

When I walk in a little before 1:00 on a Tuesday (my usual time to work there), even though I am arriving at a non-peak time, there is nonetheless quite a bit of activity. In a small room off the waiting area, a woman sits in front of a computer, a file open before her, the telephone receiver to her ear. She is there every Tuesday making certain that upcoming patients still meet the clinic’s financial and employment requirements. In the front office a volunteer is tidying up charts from the morning’s patients; another is dealing with a patient who is picking up her prescriptions. A nurse squeezes into the small office needing to print a copy of the afternoon patient schedule.

I walk past the pharmacy where a volunteer pharmacist, a pile of charts beside her, is filling prescriptions. Tucked away upstairs, yet another volunteer sits at a piled desk pouring over the data she needs for the grant she is writing.

Back downstairs, the phones begin to ring, the patients sign in, charts begin to move. Across the hall, two young women begin readying the charts for the next day’s patients. Volunteers leave, replaced by others, each with very specialized tasks. Somehow, this medical beehive functions, each individual performing his specific job and then moving on.

Who, I often wonder, would not want to be a part of such a dynamic force as this.

-written by Sharon at VIM-JAX

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering is the right way to spend retirement. The work that I do at the Jacksonville VIM gives me joy and self-fulfillment. Being of service to those who need help is an experience that no one can put a price on. Our patients are always appreciative of what we do for them; the staff works hard and they always make our patients know that the number one reason why we're there is to provide the best care possible for them. I am glad to be a part of this wonderful and well-managed community clinic.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been with L VIM from the start. I mostly work in the department of scheduling patients. I love the job, you are able to have one on one contact with the clients. We have a very well organized staff and things run very smoothly. Being able to offer this kind of care is very important for the community. I know what it is like not to have insurance.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine since November 2001. I worked in almost all of the departments before finding being a receptionist was the best position. Being familiar with all the different departments makes my job of answering the phones and signing the patients in so much easier. I find it very rewarding work and enjoy my contact with the patients. We volunteers all work together very well and appreciate it when a patient says "thank you".

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Dr. Miguel Eisen and my wife, Jane and I have volunteered at the Lakeland Volunteer in Medicine location. We both love being able to donate our time to such a wonderful cause. Everyone at the LVIM is pleasant, happy, and work together. I have had significant health problems that is the only reason we are not at LVIM at the time. We both are looking forward to volunteering again.

Comments ( 1 )

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skelley 08/14/2012

Dr. Eisen, Thank you for your kinds words about your experience with Volunteers in Medicine in Lakeland, Florida. All the best with your recovery and we look forward to your volunteering again.