Volunteers in Medicine is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a network of free primary health care clinics for the uninsured and medically underserved. For the first two decades of the organization’s history, the VIM Alliance was composed of clinics that had worked with our staff from the inception phase to develop a clinic according to the proven VIM Model.
Recognizing that free clinics continue to hold a distinctive place in the health care safety net, in 2018 the national office made a strategic decision to expand the VIM Alliance to include established free clinics that are aligned with the VIM Model. Established clinics that join the VIM Alliance are referred to as expansion sites.
To be eligible for membership, expansion sites must meet the basic tenets of the VIM Model:
- Offer healthcare to adults who are uninsured.
- Provide onsite services to patients free of charge, with no patient fees (including administrative, annual or per visit fees; suggested donation amounts or required deposits).
- Have no third party or insurance billing.
- Promote an inclusive environment that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
- Offer care that is not contingent upon ascribing to or receiving messages from a particular religion.
- Have a clinical director who is a licensed independent practitioner in the state where the clinic is located.
To join the VIM Alliance, clinics that meet the above standards must also successfully complete a membership evaluation process. Expert VIM national office staff provide individualized assistance and educational resources, ensuring that the clinic has built a strong infrastructure for quality patient care and long-term sustainability. As part of this process, all prospective expansion sites must complete a site visit paid for by the clinic.