Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a network of free primary health care clinics for the underserved. Experienced consultants guide local organizing committees through a proven model to ensure a sustainable, community-owned clinic. Once open, these clinics are invited to join the VIM Alliance, a peer-to-peer network where clinic leaders can access information related to all aspects of clinic operation.
The VIM Model emphasizes the use of retired medical professionals and community volunteers in an inclusive, welcoming environment. VIM’s “Culture of Caring” recognizes the strengths of those in need and respects their dignity. VIM clinics offer their services free of charge to patients and do not bill third party payers. Clinics have a high success rate; only a handful of the 110 clinics that have been developed have closed. Others are no longer free but continue to provide quality health care to low income patients.
“May we have eyes to see those rendered invisible and excluded,
Open arms and hearts to reach out and include them,
Healing hands to touch their lives with love,
And in the process heal ourselves.”
VIM clinics provide general primary care and patient education programs. Hypertension, diabetes, mental health issues, and obesity are the most frequently treated diseases in VIM clinics. Specialized services in many clinics range from pediatrics and dentistry to ophthalmology and counseling. For every dollar invested in the VIM national office, the ROI is nearly $72 in direct patient care provided in local communities.
In 2016, VIM clinics served an estimate of over 95,000 patients and delivered over 400,000 patient visits. More than 10,500 medical and non-medical volunteers shared their time and expertise in VIM clinics. Some VIM clinics even function as training centers for medical, dental and nursing schools.
VIM receives support from Teva Pharmaceuticals to strengthen its ability to open new clinics, increase support services to existing VIM clinics, and promote awareness. Volunteers in Medicine also works closely with the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, AmeriCares and Direct Relief to fulfill its mission.