For 25 years, Volunteers in Medicine Hilton Head Island has been providing free health care to the uninsured. The brainchild of Dr. Jack McConnell, the clinic inspired the creation of the Volunteers in Medicine national office and the 87 clinics currently in the Volunteers in Medicine Alliance.
In 2016, Volunteers in Medicine 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 Volunteers in Medicine clinics. Some clinics even function as training centers for medical, dental and nursing schools.
The Volunteers in Medicine national office, located in Vermont, has a distinctive, replicable clinic development model that is based upon the principles of sustainability, community ownership, volunteerism and free care for those without adequate insurance. 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.
With the uncertainty surrounding the health care reform, we believe more than ever, that Volunteers in Medicine clinics will be needed to care for America’s uninsured and underserved.