Leadership, community organization, a detailed needs assessment and an understanding of the delivery of medical services are all essential requirements to start a clinic based on the Volunteers in Medicine model. Establishing a Volunteers in Medicine free clinic requires aligning with others in your community who share your vision, and have the skills and staying power to develop a clinic. It is important to recruit both medical and non-medical leaders to join your organizing committee. Often, a local church or faith community will take the lead.
The VIM national office is dedicated to assisting individuals, groups and local communities who want to develop a free health care clinics for people without access to health care. Our experience tells us that relying solely on a written guide for starting a clinic is insufficient for most communities to build an organization that is sustainable and responsive to need.
With Volunteers in Medicine, an experienced staff member will guide you through the development process, providing direction, inspiration, and support along the way. Our consulting services and resource materials are provided at no charge to local communities.
VIM clinics that meet specific criteria may be eligible for a Family Medicine Cares USA grant from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Foundation.
Interested in developing a Volunteers in Medicine clinic in your community? Get started by asking yourself these questions:
- Is there a genuine need for a free clinic in your community?
- Are others concerned about those without access to health care, and will they insist on such a service being developed?
- Does the medical community share your concern?
- Would retired people, both medical and non-medical, be willing to volunteer in the clinic?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions and are looking for a challenge, please contact us. We have worked with many dedicated individuals from a variety of different backgrounds and would welcome the opportunity to work with you to start a clinic in your community.