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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Centre Volunteers In Medicine (CVIM)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Ambulatory & Primary Health Care, Community Health Systems, Health, Health Support

Mission: MISSION: Centre Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) will serve and advocate for the medically underserved residents of Centre County, Pennsylvania. BACKGROUND: CVIM is a free-standing, community-based, non-profit organization that has been providing free medical and dental care, medications, and case management services to uninsured residents of Centre County, PA since 2003.

Target demographics: Qualified patients are county residents with no insurance or government-based health coverage, and have household incomes at or below the 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1186

Geographic areas served: Centre County, Pennsylvania

Programs: (1) primary medical care (2) primary dental care (3) case management services (4) medication assistance program

Community Stories

49 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Extremely well-run: strategically and professionally. Always putting the needs of the patients first by providing a multitude of healthcare services and deeply caring about the individuals served.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked with CVIM as a provider and board member for the last several years. This is an incredibly dedicated group that is committed to providing medical and dental care to underserved individuals in Centre County, PA. Discussions at board meetings typically center around how we can be of better service to the community and how we can continue to be good stewards of our resources. Quality improvement and creative innovation are non-negotiable expectations, creating an environment that is both service oriented and exciting for all concerned.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud of the work that Centre Volunteers in Medicine does in our community. Everyone from the staff to the volunteers are so committed to provide accessible, safe care for members of our community who depend on our services. Every decision is made with the patient in mind and how to keep our services available and appropriate in the changing face of healthcare.

Craig B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer chiropractic physician at Centre Volunteers in Medicine, I am privileged to witness the care and compassion of the staff and volunteers on a regular basis. The great people that make up this organization aren't just showing up to do a job, they are fully invested in providing quality healthcare to the medically undeserved. Volunteering at CVIM is truly a highlight of my work week, and I am thankful to be a part of this wonderful organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is incredible. I have been without insurance and thus without healthcare for years due to a myriad of different reasons. I had hit my wall with trying to find coverage and was close to giving up. I'm was frustrated and lost. Then I found CVIM. This organization is a lifesaver. They provide health and dental care. The staff is so incredibly kind and friendly. They are timely. They truly care about there patients. In a country where are hospitals and health care facilities are so full of corruption and try to rip you off at ever turn, CVIM is a godsend in that as they are a non-profit so their doctors and staff truly have their patient's best interests at heart. They are genuine and sincere. I have never feel more comfortable and safe with my healthcare providers as I do at CVIM in my entire life. Places like this are some of the few remaining good things in this country. This place in amazing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a health care provider in this community for 20 years and would provide free services to my patients who lost their insurance. When I lost my practice and my ability to earn an income I was familiar with CVIM and went to them for help.
The health care I received there is as good or better than what I used to receive paying with insurance and out of pocket. They have treated me with respect and kindness and addressed a lot of my immediate health concerns. If I succeed at regaining a salary, I hope to donate back to them for the great work they are doing.

charlieo553

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy my volunteer work as a receptionist at CVIM. The clinic serves uninsured and underinsured residents of Centre County. Unpaid and paid professionals provide excellent health and dental care. Case managers also connect people to social services and other aid. Everyone offers great care and respect to the patients and does his/her best to be welcoming, accurate, efficient, and to make each person's experience a successful and pleasant one.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe that everyone is entitled to quality health care, and that is what CVIM provides for its patients. The volunteers are caring and friendly and make it a pleasure to work there. The staff is available to help with any questions. I worked as an eligibility assistant previously and now volunteer as a receptionist. I feel as though I am making a contribution to our community, and I am always learning. I just wish two things: 1) that we had universal health care in this country, and, barring that, 2) that the agency had all the money, doctors, dentists, nurses, and hygienists that it requires to serve the great community needs.

I really appreciate the opportunity to volunteer for CViM!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CVIM has been serving the residents of Centre County for over 10 years. While it has been a tremendous help for those in need it also serves another purpose- a wonderful place to volunteer. I have been volunteering since shortly after CVIM began and seen it grow to now include dental as well as medical services. Although I do not see clients directly it is very rewarding knowing that I help patients obtain the free medicine they need from the various pharmaceutical patient assistance programs. CVIM is a wonderful, friendly place to volunteer.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a very caring and professional organization providing medical and dental care for those in need. I am happy and proud to serve as a volunteer for this wonderful group of dedicated personnel.

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Katie129

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The paid and volunteer nurses are the hardest working heroes at Centre Volunteers in Medicine. Every day, they are kind, patient and helpful to the patients, staff and volunteers. I am honored to work with them every week.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began interning for Centre Volunteers in Medicine in May and the experience has truly changed my life. You will not find better people than those who work and volunteer at CVIM. They are truly passionate about helping others, but still somehow find the time to consistently brighten my day. There is no other organization I have enjoyed being a part of as much as Centre Volunteers in Medicine.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Centre volunteers in Medicine has been a blessing to this community. It has met the needs of many who just did not know where to turn.

Fran B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Outstanding organization dedicated to the health and well being of our community. They really care!

Ken L.

Donor

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization providing a much needed service with excellence.
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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thank you for all the great work you are doing for the uninsured in State College, PA. Together Volunteers in Medicine is making a difference for the uninsured across the country. Keep up the great work!

Yuhui Z.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My parents are the patients in this clinic and we love the service there. The receptionists are very kind, the doctors model professionalism and genuine care for the patients, and the nurses are very helpful, too. I often feel that they go extra mile to help the patients. They deserve recognition of their first rate service. CVIM is truly a blessing to our community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a receptionist at CVIM ever since it opened, and find it such a rewarding experience. I look forward to working with a truly dedicated group of people each week, and greeting the clients who frequent our clinic. Not only do we provide medical and dental services, but our case management staff offers people help in all aspects of their life, something you can't find in a private medical setting. Every community member should be aware of the great contribution our clinic makes to those in need of our services.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering for CVIM in 1966 after retiring from Penn State. I have always thought that health care for everyone is a necessity of life. Without good health people often cannot work, which leads to more poverty and illness. My experiences with the clients have made me a more compassionate person, just seeing what they are going through in their daily lives. I am honored to be a member of this amazing group of dedicated professionals and volunteers who have the best interest of their clients at heart.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer Eligibility Assistant for CVIM for about the last seven years. The organization does an amazing job of providing medical care, dental care and social services to residents of Centre County, PA, who constitute the "working poor". These residents typically have no medical and/or dental insurance and their income is determined by the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Medical doctors, nurses and dentists offer their services as volunteers. Some case managers volunteer their time, also. The receptionists, Eligibility Assistants, and people staffing the medicine distribution office also volunteer.

I am continually amazed at the professionalism of the office. Everyone is treated with respect and tact. I sometimes get clients who say they will be moving to another state. One young woman was moving to Florida. She assumed that she would just sign up with a free clinic there and receive the same care she was getting with us. I cautioned her that not every place has one, and that we are grateful to have this one to serve our local clients.

The atmosphere in our office is cordial and very pleasant. Everyone there seems to be on the same page when it comes to serving the clientele. I am proud to be associated with such an incredible group of people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered in a number of places since my semi-retirement but none has been so rewarding as CVIM. Although the work I do (Medical Records) could probably be done by a sixth grader I am so grateful that I have an opportunity to contribute in this small way to the life-changing work that CVIM does for our community. The deep commitment to serving those who cannot afford medical care and the compassion evidenced by everyone on the paid and unpaid staff is an inspiration to everyone who comes into contact with CVIM.

Nancy68

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Centre Volunteers in Medicine is a very special place! When I first started to volunteer here--after teaching for over 30 years--I was very nervous. This was something that was completely out of my comfort zone. Well, it was the best thing that I could have done not only for myself but, hopefully for others. The entire organization is composed of caring and intelligent people. It is such a happy place to be. Everyone works so hard to make life a little better for others. I am honored to be a very small part of this organization!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot tell you how wonderful CVIM is for our community. This is not just a building or a name but a truly caring group of volunteers and professionals who are compassionate. I recently welcomed a homeless gentleman into the office. He needed immediate care and had not yet qualified as a patient. Our entire staff did everything possible to make sure he was going to get what he needed. CVIM is a special jewel in the State College Community

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with CVIM as a way of giving back to my community and fulfilling an elective requirement for my Masters program at PSU. This is a great organization run by intelligent, capable professionals who are using their skills to help the medically under-served of Centre County. The organization is well-managed, but depends on volunteers in order to fulfill its mission. I would highly recommend those looking for a volunteer experience to choose CVIM! You will not be disappointed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for CVIM 10 years ago when they first opened for business and feel honored to be a part of an organization whose goal is serving the medical and dental needs of folks who have no other access to care. The staff and volunteers are totally dedicated and are willing to go the extra mile in improving health of our clients.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Centre Volunteers in Medicine provides a needed service not filled by other agencies. In addition to direct medical and dental care, there are caseworkers who help people apply for programs they may qualify for. They also provide resources and counseling for smoking cessation. Over all, it is a well run organization, with many excellent volunteers.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I was the the pharmacist who set up the original drug distribution segment of CVIM. During the early days I saw the clinic grow from providing care for a few hundred patients to the thousands of people
that are served today.
From a health professional point of view, it gives you the chance to practice your profession as you
thought it would be like as you struggled through your education. You see how appreciative the people are that come through the doors. You see how other volunteers (many who had no knowledge of how
complex our healthcare system can be), grow into prominent roles.
I have seen how efficient this clinic has become, not just out of necessity, but also because it is not constrained by the world of HMO's and government intervention.
The satisfaction I have gotten from being able to give something back to the community where I have resided most of my life is immeasurable.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been volunteering for seven years. CVIM is a wonderful organization that provides primary medical and dental care to those in need in Centre County, and I am proud to be a part of it. The people who come to CVIM have chronic conditions that will only get worse if neglected, so access to primary care and necessary medications makes sense in many ways. I am glad to be able to help.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at CVIM for ten years, and know first hand what a wonderful organization it is! There are people in this area who would not be served by anyone if not for the clinic. They receive excellent
care and the medicines they could not afford to take if it were not for CVIM!
I have loved working here and hope I can continue to do so.!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Well currently unemployed and looking for work, Centre Volunteers in Medicine has been just wonderful for me. The Doctors and staff are friendly, helpful, and providing a much needed service to those like myself that currently cannot afford health care. Very professional. Thank you so much, CVIM!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently lost my job and my insurance. I then lost my unemployment benefits. I take 14 medications for a variety of conditions like High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Thyroid, GERD, and addiction. I also have no teeth and need dentures.The staff at CVIM is working with me to get my medications at little or no cost and will also try to raise funds to help pay for my dentures. I received a voucher so 2 of our children could get new sneakers. I also received a voucher for the food bank. I was also directed to a place where my children could get free back to school supplies. I am totally blown away by how much help they offered me and my family. They are all so nice at CVIM and they went way above what I ever imagined anyone would ever do to help our family. And they did it all with a smile on their face. I could tell that they really cared about us as people and that they totally enjoyed helping people in any and every way. And the majority of them do not get paid but do this to benefit their fellow human beings. I appreciate every thing they have done for us and feel that they should be recognized for what they are doing on a daily basis.
Chuck Talarigo

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I try to help Centre Volunteers in Medicine because I am so supportive of their mission to help the medically underserved in our county. I have a background in Health Education as well as Counselor Education so I have a strong background in understanding the issues and barriers to getting health care and other services to people who, through no fault of their own, tend to really need help to be healthy and survive in these tough times. At present, I am using my background to help CVIM to identify grant support. These folks are so caring and supportive of their clients that I am just amazed. They have developed a cadre of volunteers who are wildly enthusiastic and energetic in support he mission of CVIM. No matter what the health care system of the USA turns out to be, there will always be a need to help those that just get missed by the "system." CVIM has a solid relationship with the citizens of our county. They are a trusted and reliable health care entity. Thank you so much for allowing me to write a letter of support for them. Robert E. Shute, D.Ed., Associate Professor Emeritus, Penn State University

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a recently retired teacher, I decided to fill some of my spare time with volunteer work. I chose CVIM and am glad that I did. It is very rewarding. The staff is warm and friendly, not judgmental at all and the gratitude of our patients is heartwarming. I have been blessed many times. I only wish that we did not need to exist and that all Americans had access to affordable health care.

1 Madeline4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The persons working at this clinic are very respectful and in-tune to the clients needs, working effortlessly to improve health outcomes.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Several years ago I learned of a nonprofit organization of doctors and dentists in the State College area called Centre Volunteers in Medicine. I had no dental coverage at the time. I also suffer from GIRD with periodic inability to swallow food properly, or at all on occasion, because of the way the GIRD affects my esophagus. Keeping my natural teeth is essential for me, not only physically but also psychologically, since the ability to swallow or not is so fundamental to an independent life. The thought of loosing teeth is terrifying to me. Several years ago, I called the CVIM office and went through the intake process and qualified for free dental care with CVIM. Each year they are able to clean my teeth once and fill teeth or repair fillings that I already have that need attention. They would like to be able to do more but I have to say that what they have done for me already is essential to the quality of my life and perhaps even essential to my life...period. I cannot say enough good about the professional men and women volunteers of CVIM and the volunteer staff who keep the lights on and the trains running on time. CVIM is a most worthy organization that deserves all the donations and awards imaginable!! Thank you all! God bless you all!!....Mary E. Lanser

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past 7 years I have so enjoyed volunteering at this wonderful organization! The staff at this facility is so kind, caring, and dedicated to serving the people of Centre County, and there continues to be such a great need for their services, particularly in the dental area. An especially strong component of the services provided is case management, which locates other avenues of help for the patients. The patients are most grateful, and for many of them it is very difficult to ask for help. Many of them are dealing with life-threatening diseases and would not otherwise receive treatment if it weren't for this organization. The group of dedicated volunteers who write to the indigent drug companies to get medications for the patients have secured a million dollars worth of free medication for the CVIM patients since the clinic was started nearly ten years ago!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and I think its wonderful what this organization does to help out the community. Thank you soo much for everhything!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer nurse at CVIM. I have been humbled by the gratitude our clients express for the services we provide. There is much need and I have become too aware of the limit of resources.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer dentist in the State College CVIM dental clinic. Every time I volunteer, I am amazed by the sincere appreciation of the patients. These are patients that are trying their hardest to make ends meet in a difficult economy. These are patients who have not had anywhere else to turn for medical and dental services. These are patients that are desperate. The amount and quality of care that CVIM provides is staggering based solely on volunteer services. The staff who run CVIM have dedicated their lives to help the organization succeed. CVIM is truly a God send!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CVIM provides medical and dental care and medication distribution to Centre county residents who are not eligible for other services. As a pharmacist volunteer I see medications dispensed for chronic conditions such as asthma, hypertension, and diabetes that might not be treated without CVIM help. One man of very limited means used to pay over $200 for glaucoma eye drops in my community pharmacy practice but is now able to obtain them without charge through the manufacturer's assistance program arranged by CVIM.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for special events for CVIM on and off for several years. I continue to be amazed at the level of care given to patients and the professionalism in the treatment everyone that walks through the door. CVIM fills a very much needed service in our community and should make us all proud.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am excited to go to "work" and do my few hours at CVIM. I am usually there three times in a month. The patients are grateful for what I find to be excellent, caring and thoughtful service. Their stories are heart wrenching at times and the thought, "There but for the grace of God go I" comes to mind.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an RN volunteer for almost 5 years. The services CVIM provides are amazing. It is a very professional atmosphere staffed by those who really want to make a difference. I am proud to be a part of such an outstanding organization

Beverly Boggs M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at CVIM for over 3 years; and it is one of the most satisfying jobs ever. The staff at CVIM is professional, kind and dedicated to our community; especially to those without health insurance. It is indeed a remarkable team! It's great to walk into a workplace and feel the warmth of love and giving.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered as a nurse at CVIM for many years, and I continue to be humbled and amazed by the quality of care they provide to our friends and neighbors. The needs are great, and CVIM has continually stepped up to the plate and delivered to thousands every year. This is such a win-win situation with volunteers receiving as much, or more, than they give when they provide these services.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a social worker I’ve been a case management volunteer at CVIM since 2003. At CVIM our volunteer doctors and nurses provide primary care services and free medications, our volunteer dentists help address often complicated dental needs, case managers make sure our patients are directed to appropriate community agencies and low cost insurance programs, and our Medication Assistance Program, MAP, taps into free or low cost medications offered by the pharmaceutical companies. In addition, a number of specialists in the area volunteer their time to see our patients at no cost. Most CVIM patients are employed, many of them work 40 plus hours per week in one job or 2 or even 3. They’re often the servers, sales people and taxi drivers we see in the course of our day. In order to qualify for services at CVIM, a person’s yearly income must be no higher than 200% of the Federal Poverty guidelines. For a family of 4 that means just over $42,000. In 2010 our patients made about 11,000 visits to the clinic to utilize our various services. In the past these folks often had to decide between going to the doctor and paying the rent. And what might not have been so serious in the beginning often ended up with a frantic trip to the ER. I’ve said this many times over the years but it describes in a nutshell exactly how I feel. I’m not a person who normally brags, but I always feel like I’m showing off when I tell people I’m a CVIM volunteer. It's an amazing organization filling a critical need in this community.

Amy_44

Client Served

Rating: 5

Humorist Sam Ewing once wrote, “Hard work spotlights the character of people, some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”

In September of 2004, at the age of 24, I was just beginning a freelance photography business. By the government’s standards I was self-employed and with that, sans health insurance. I discovered a large lump in my neck and called around to some local doctors for the cost of a visit. Determining that $75, or more in some cases, was just too much for me, I ignored whatever the lump was and figured it would go away. It made me nervous and when one receptionist suggested Centre Volunteers in Medicine I didn’t hesitate to call.

I will forever be grateful for CVIM. They treated me with such kindness and concern. Dr. Karen Bascom was a saint when dealing with my needle phobia and just an overall caring person as she learned my parents were over three hours away. That innocent lump turned out to be a tumor, and many more were to be found after a CT scan. I was diagnosed with Stage IIIA Hodgkin’s Disease, a lymphoma, a cancer. CVIM was able to cover expensive tests, scans, blood work, surgeries, and initial doctor visits. Through the help of social workers there I was quickly enrolled in Medical Assistance.

Some of CVIM expenses were recovered due to retroactive health coverage, but many were not. Like so many other families and individuals I would never have been able to afford these tests and all the chemotherapy and doctor visits that were yet to come. But roll-up-your-sleeves individuals like them made this very possible. I know I am an extreme case, but perhaps not that uncommon. Their help has affected someone’s life and I am LIVING proof.