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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative

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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 2018, BVMI provided care to 1,400 patients in 7,800 patient visits. 65 clinical volunteers and another 60 lay volunteers provided nearly $650,000 in professional services.

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

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,400 patients in over 7,800 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

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Viren L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined BVMI as a volunteer medical scribe and have become part of the BVMI family. The administration, volunteers, and employees all resonate the overall values of BVMI, ones that strive for compassion, respect, and dignity. The organization and its individuals are able to successfully continue with the goal of providing healthcare services and education to the community. I am grateful to have been able to join this group of individuals and I hope to be involved throughout my career.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was placed at BVMI during the summer as an intern and I have to say I had an amazing experience. The staff go above and beyond to help their clients as well and provide resources they need or find informative. From hearing their patient stories all of their patients felt taken care of and knew they were in the best hands.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with BVMI for a little over a year before starting medical school myself. It was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had. The staff is full of genuine people who actually want to help. From the front desk to the doctors, to the administration running the show, it is non-stop love for their work and the patients. With the growing population of uninsured patients across the US, it is a breathe of fresh air to see people who will give their time and effort to helping without any compensation. I cannot recommend BVMI enough to both patients looking for help, or volunteers, be it doctors, translators, office staff, or people who are willing to fold papers to be mailed. Amazing place. Amazing people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am one of the volunteers and I just want to state what a wonderful organization bvmi is. The staff and volunteers are all nurturing, bright and are helping to change the lives of the community they serve. I'm very proud to be a part of this organization

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

BVMI is a wonderful nonprofit that works tirelessly to save the lives of those that come to the center. Everyone should have access to medical care and that is what BVMI does for so many working Bergen County residents that wouldn’t be able to get access to it without them. In addition, BVMI helps keep visits to the ERs down by helping with preventive care and diagnosing issues quickly. The volunteers spend quality time with their patients to get a really good understanding of their needs and where they can help and add value. Its an organization that betters those lives that they touch and in many cases have saved lives. Everyone involved from the staff to the doctors and nurses are heroes in my opinion, they are doing meaningful work every day to give back to a community that so desperately needs it. I am proud to be a part of BVMI

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

An incredible team of medical providers volunteering their time and talents to a very squeezed and often forgotten segment of the population... the working uninsured.
The staff is very talented and dedicated. The medical care is comprehensive and incredibly efficient but solely dependent upon the generosity of its donors.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Terrific staff. Highly motivated, caring individuals working closely together to help those less fortunate.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having the opportunity to volunteer and be apart of BVMI was truly an amazing experience. BVMI is one of a kind, the amount of kindness and caring that is shown to each patient as well as staff and other volunteers is heartwarming. It is clear that everyone has the same goal, to help people where it is needed and they go above and beyond!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure of being involved with BVMI for the past 2 years. I'm in awe of the great work they do for the low-income, working uninsured of Bergen County. These words from a patient highlight how much BVMI means to them:

"I am very grateful for BVMI and for the people who have aided me in whatever way they could, I am very grateful for how they have helped me; I am diabetic and I give thanks for all the help of all the people like me; without you guys, I would not be able to receive medical services. God Bless You! "

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BVMI's mission is to provide free primary medical care to working residents of Bergen County, NJ who have neither health insurance nor the means to obtain it. A majority of the healthcare providers are volunteers: doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians, dentists, etc. The facility in Hackensack, NJ has been in operation since 2009 and is the medical home for over 1400 registered patients, many of whom have chronic conditions requiring continuity of care. When necessary, referrals are made to a panel of specialists who have agreed to treat BVMI's patients gratis in their offices. The area's hospitals perform X-rays and diagnostic procedures such as CAT scans and MRIs, and often have admitted patients for surgeries and other sophisticated procedures. The organization has been an important member of the healthcare community in Bergen County, New Jersey.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

BVMI's team is top notch as evidenced by the fact that it consistently outperforms its peers' (Medicaid HMOs) on all national quality benchmarks. Bergen County is lucky to have such an outstanding organization taking care of its working poor and I'm proud to be involved with this wonderful team.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at BVMI for approximately 6 months and it has been a very rewarding experience. Every person I've interacted with, from volunteer professional doctors and nurses to the full-time administrative and office staff, is truly committed to the mission of bringing the highest-quality free medical care to those in need in Bergen County. Everyone has a positive attitude and treats our patients with respect and dignity. It's a pleasure to be associated with this wonderful non-profit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s too easy to tell you why BVMI is such a great non profit organization. The feedback from the patients that are served through this organization is amazing! These patients so appreciate the dedicated care they receive and they are not even aware that the staff are all volunteers as well!
It’s well run and truly an amazing organization. It’s wonderful when you can see the direct results of your own giving and dedication.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the BVMI volunteer team because I believe that everyone deserves to have quality health care. I also joined because I thought by aligning myself with BVMI I could make a difference and do some good. That is what BVMI is all about. From the dedicated doctors and nurses, to the support staff, everyone is motivated by one thing, and that is to help bring health care to those who might not otherwise have it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization provides amazing care to their patients and enables all of their volunteers to learn and be of help. All of the providers and staff are kind and attentive people. It is a wonderful organization to volunteer for.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working as a Registered Nurse at BVMI is one of the best experiences of my life.
We take care of the physical and emotional problems of our patients.
Everybody at BVMI is ready to help, to listen and willing to try to solve issues that for our
patients sometimes are problems that can cause a great deal of stress to them and to their families as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a recently retired Psycho-Therapist with over 30 years of experience, including my private practice in Ridgewood, NJ.

I learned about BVMI from a magazine article describing the staff of professionals specializing in medical and mental illness. BVMI's services provided me with an opportunity to continue treating individuals with emotional illnesses.

After a thorough review of my background and credentials, I began to provide therapy to men and women with emotional and environmental issues. The gratitude, feedback and respect that I have received from my patients has been a humbling experience.

I attribute my success at BVMI to the teamwork of all of the volunteers and staff at BVMI.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I recently retired and wanted to volunteer at a location that was doing good things for people in need. I found this at BVMI. What a wonderful place filled with talented and caring people who want to provide excellent healthcare for patients. Serving as a translator and helping out at the front desk allows me to contribute. Thank you BVMI for helping so many people and for allowing me to contribute to your mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been aware of BVMI since it's inception. They do wonderful work helping working poor in my community. It is inspiring to see people treated with caring, dignity and respect, all in a professional, state of the art facility. It has been an honor to volunteer in the from office for the past 5 years.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

With ever-increasing healthcare cost, many people can't afford to get medical insurance for themselves and their families. They are being left behind to fend for themselves. Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative is part of the effort of non-profit organizations trying to fill the gap. We are providing free clinic for low-income working families living in Bergen County ( NJ), who have no medical insurance coverage. Doctors ,nurses and other healthcare providers, such as Social Workers, Nutritionists,.. are all volunteers, donating their time and effort keeping community member healthy. This also serves public health need for early detection of communicable diseases to prevent spreading. I am glad to be part of the effort.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great & friendly environment. Always something to learn. Perfect place for anyone who wants to help in their community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a fairly new volunteer at BVMI. I find the staff to be extremely pleasant to work with and I am proud to be a (small) part of the effort. The work this non-profit does is nothing short of amazing. They provide compassionate, caring, thorough health care, in an immaculate and comfortable setting to patients who would otherwise never get to see a doctor. The staff genuinely care about the patients and treat them with utmost respect.

Furthermore, I worked at various non-profits for many years. Many say they want volunteers.....but in truth have very little work for them to do. Or they may not yet have figured out how to delegate work to volunteers. At BVMI, I have seen that volunteers are truly considered a valuable asset and resource, are given work that needs to be done, and are made to feel useful and appreciated.

I would give Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative way more than FIVE STARS if it were possible. If I had significant funds to donate to a non-profit organization, there is no doubt that this is the one I would chose.

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.