Volunteers in Medicine® (VIM) is a national nonprofit dedicated to building a network of free primary health care clinics for the uninsured and medically underserved. The VIM Alliance is a peer-to-peer network of clinics that uphold the VIM Model. Experienced consultants guide the local organizing committees or existing clinic leadership through a proven process to ensure that the clinic meets membership standards and expectations.
The VIM Model emphasizes the use of medical and non-medical 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.
Since 1993, VIM has assisted in the development of 113 clinics for the uninsured. These facilities have provided expanded access to quality health care for low income people throughout the country. Today, nearly 90 clinics continue to follow the VIM free clinic model. There is an enduring interest in this distinctive health care model, with more than a dozen new sites in development.
“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 $69 in direct patient care provided in local communities.
In 2018, VIM clinics served an estimate of nearly 87,000 patients and delivered over 349,000 patient visits. More than 10,000 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.