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Celebrated for nearly 70 years, World Health Day was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) to bring awareness to health issues on a global level.  The focus of this year’s April 7th celebration is on universal health coverage, emphasizing that all people must have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

It is on this belief that Dr. Jack McConnell founded Volunteers in Medicine (VIM), a national network of free clinics that provide quality health care services to the uninsured and medically underserved.  Last year alone, VIM clinics provided care to nearly 89,000 patients with over 348,000 visits.  These included primary and pediatric care, as well as mental health and behavioral services, specialty care and dental visits.  Provided at no cost to patients, this care was delivered by over 10,000 volunteers who share their time and expertise in the 88 VIM clinics across the country.  VIM clinics are community-owned and supported delivering primary care services within a Culture of Caring which recognizes the strengths of those in need and respects their dignity.  It prompts the idea that the manner in which people are treated during a visit to a VIM clinic is as important as the medical care they receive.

According to the WHO, about 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.  Volunteers in Medicine is proud to do its part of giving the gift of health care to those in need.  For more about World Health Day, visit About the campaign.