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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Clinics, Health

Mission: The Mission of Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative, Inc. is to provide free primary medical care and, where possible, referrals to free specialty care for working, low-income Bergen County residents who have no health insurance. Our Vision is to improve the health and well-being of those we serve, reduce the use of hospital emergency services, and serve as a model of improving access to healthcare through volunteerism. Our Values promote that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. We treat patients and one another with dignity, respect and compassion, and we strive to meet the highest standards of medical practice.

Results: BVMI helps to stabilize chronic conditions, reduce infectious disease and decrease emergency room visits by providing early intervention and consistent care. The availability of a nurse practitioner allows patients to schedule sick visits or consult by phone rather than going to the emergency room. In 2014, BVMI provided care to 1,000 patients in 5,700 patient visits. 50+ clinical volunteers provided $450,000 in professional services.

Target demographics: low-income, working adults who do not have health insurance

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,000 patients in over 6,200 patient visits

Geographic areas served: Bergen County, NJ

Programs: BVMI provides free primary healthcare by utilizing volunteer doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, dietitians and others.

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff at BVMI goes above and beyond to make each and every patient feel like they are part of the family. The patient visits are are holistic and detailed as possible, providing patients with excellent medical services and advice. The staff is always warm, friendly and happy to help with just about anything. As a volunteer in the development office I have been able to see firsthand the enormous about of work that goes into fundraising and properly allocating resources to optimize the money raised.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BVMI is a wonderful community resource - it provides free primary medical care to the working poor. Most of the medical providers are volunteers, and they want to be there. The result is a caring environment where patients feel valued. It is also a great place to volunteer, where the staff makes the extra effort to match a volunteer's skills to BVMI's needs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at BVMI because I believe everyone has a right to good health. I am fortunate enough to have health care while some people do not have health care. Because of this, I do my part to ensure people are taken care of by professionals who care about them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bergen Volunteer Medical Center (BVMI) is an unbelievable non-profit. Prior to this year, I did not know such an organization existed. I, a high-school student, was conducting research on the status of healthcare for people who could not afford it and what can be done for them, for my public policy class. It was appalling to me how people in my own community did not have access to affordable health care. Then I discovered BVMI. I was blown away by all the good it was and is doing for the community. It is so humbling to think that volunteer doctors and nurses come together to, simply put, help others. It was also comforting to know that the people in my community had somewhere to go when they needed medical care. BVMI's determination and passion to serve the underserved is necessary and truly a blessing. I believe that healthcare is a right and BVMI believes it too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an RN who retired in 2012 after working for 44 years. I was looking to volunteer at a place that I could be of service. BVMI turned out to be the place.
The patients are hardworking, motivated, and appreciative people. The staff of doctors and nurses are also volunteers. It is a learning and teaching experience for all involved.
I know that BVMI has a large impact on neighborhood emergency rooms. Prevention of medical issues as emergencies is addressed through patient education and follow up.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with BVMI for more than a year. I started with BVMI to help the community and I never imagined the impact it would have on me. I feel great and helpful. when I get back home I feel a huge fulfillment because I feel that I helped a family to have a better life. If everyone helps at least one person or one family a day this world would be different. And for that I THANK YOU BVMI.
Mercedes

Donor

Rating: 5

BVMI is special to me
1- because of the good it is doing providing health care to many people who could not otherwise obtain it,
2- because of the extraordinary volunteers who WANT to be there, offering their truly expert care in all health care fields,
3- because the concept of what we are doing is so compelling it continues to attract not only volunteers but donors as well.

The impact on the local community is many fold, 1- reducing the use of the five hospital ERs for primary care, which in turn lowers state taxes on the public, 2- improving the public health by treating undetected communicable diseases, 3- by diagnosing and treating common medical conditions such as HBP, Diabetes, Hyperlipidemia, as well as advising on
care of obesity and mental health issues.

I continue to support BVMI because of all of the above, and to quote the first VIM founder Dr John McConnel, “It is a joy to do what we are doing."

Dr. Samuel Cassell
BVMI Founding Chair

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Every person goes above and beyond to help our patients: from the lab, to reception area to our nursing/medical volunteers - everyone takes an interest in our patients that goes beyond the physical! We all work together to help our patients any way we can (providing educational information, finding the place for the least expensive medications, working around schedules, providing interpretors etc). Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest impact - we try to let them know how much we care!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer an interpreter at BVMI, I have been able to see first hand the doctor-patient interaction at the clinic. The doctors and nurses truly care about all the patients at the clinic and it shows. I see the ongoing efforts of staff to get patients seen by specialists, following up with patients to make sure they have gotten their diagnostic testing, etc. More than once, I have been told by patients how lucky they feel to be at a clinic like ours and how great care they receive. BVMI really makes a difference in not only patient's health, but also their lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BVMI provides healthcare to the working poor, who would otherwise not be able to afford healthcare or health insurance. Without this healthcare (which includes preventive screenings), patients would either be left with excessive bills or be forced to go without necessary care. Lives have been saved due to early cancer detection and connection with treatment.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Sandra and I am a patient at BVMI. I am really, really, happy here and all of the doctors are so nice here. They give me so much attention and make sure they do everything they can to make sure I get what I need. I don't have insurance or Charity Care and they try to help me get the care I need. Mary is a doctor here and she makes herself available whenever I need it. I am really, really, really, happy here. Blanca, Michael, Dania, Rebecca - the front desk staff is super nice. I get gynecological care here as well... In addition to primary care! I feel so lucky and thankful. They listen to me and make sure I receive everything I need. They are super professional and courteous. Most importantly, they have a BIG heart!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had clipped an article about the opening of the clinic several years ago when I was not in a position to volunteer. When my schedule cleared up, I reached out and began spending one afternoon a week in the office, scheduling patient appointments. During those calls, I have learned how much our patients appreciate the care they are receiving at BVMI. Their "Thank you's" are abundant and full of enthusiasm. This is evidence enough that BVMI is doing great and important work!

Amanda264

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for BVMI has taught me a lot about working in a non profit environment. Being a Clinical Laboratory science major and having this experience outside the classroom has really taught me things that my program doesn't cover as much. Even though I have only been here a brief time, I feel that I've gained a lot and hope to continue to help make an impact for the patients at BVMI.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at BVMI for seven years since it opened its doors. The doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, and many lay office staff like myself come to help people who are in desperate need of medical care and don't have health insurance or the means to pay a private doctor. These are people who live and work in our communities and in our homes. The BVMI staff are professional and caring people; the BVMI patients are so grateful for the personalized care they receive. We all benefit -- we as individuals, and we as a society.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Not that I was looking for a job, but I have always liked helping people, whether it is finding nutmeg in the spice isle for someone or brightening someone's day.

I saw a "help wanted" ad in the newspaper, looking for doctors and nurses to volunteer their free time at BVMI. Upon seeing this very ad, I called saying that I was good letter folder/envelope stuffer, and with that being said, I have been having a great time at BVMI for over 3 years.

Sometimes, I make phone calls telling supporters what exciting events will be coming up soon, other times I help send out letters thanking people for all of the good that they have done. I have learned a lot volunteering at BVMI. For example, I have learned about keeping letters in zip code order in order to qualify for a nonprofit rate at the post office.

Thank you, BVMI, for getting me out of my home and helping make me feel useful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a retired medical specialist, it has been a honor as well as a great personal pleasure to volunteer at BVMI - providing preventive, maintenance, and often urgent care, to the working poor who do not have health insurance (i.e. available health care). This is a situation that I rarely experienced in over 40 years of medical practice, prior to my retirement.

The environment at BVMI - The Culture of Caring - providing necessary healthcare in a skilled, professional, and dignified manner is of crucial importance to the well-being of our patients, their families, and the community. Being at BVMI gives me a wonderful, warm, moral feeling justifying my personal and professional role as a physician.

This is medical practice the way that I had hoped it would be, at its' moral and ethical best at BVMI.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BVMI provides healthcare to people who do not have health insurance. Every person is treated with kindness and respect.

It's a wonderful organization, supported by amazing staff and volunteers.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They're fantASTic!! I love them so much. I saw drASTic changes in my health, for the better. LASTly, I would recommend them to anyone, as these people are truly ASTounding!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer dermatologist at this free clinic for uninsured people of limited means. It is very gratifying to help these people who really would be otherwise deprived of any medical care. This is a great organization for helping those who "fall through the cracks" of our American health care system.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a volunteer physician and financial supporter of BVMI because this is truly a special organization. The medical care provided at BVMI is top notch, but beyond that, the culture of caring and compassion benefits all involved, patients and practitioners alike.
I am thankful for BVMI and all of the staff and behind-the-scenes work that allows me to show up to work and be the best doctor I can be, more than that actually, I thank BVMI for giving me the opportunity to be a better person.