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Rx for Better Health: Volunteers in Medicine Celebrates 10 Years

One of our area's few, full-time free health clinics is celebrating something special this month.

Volunteers in Medicine at 190 North Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilkes-Barre is marking its 10th year of giving back to thousands of the working uninsured and the underinsured in Luzerne County.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey visited the nonprofit Thursday morning to highlight its plans to expand and help even more people.

To see if you meet the criteria to become a patient, click here.

Volunteers in Medicine is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The phone number is 570-970-2864

Here are some other facts about the nonprofit, courtesy of VIM:

  • About Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) – VIM is a non-profit, community-based organization established to meet the primary and preventative health care needs of the working uninsured and the underinsured populations in Luzerne County. VIM is the only full-time, full-service, free medical, dental, and behavioral health clinic in Northeast PA.
    • The medical clinic opened in June 2008.
    • The dental clinic opened in January 2011.
    • Behavioral health services expanded in 2016.
  • VIM operates primarily with volunteers.
  • VIM has transformed into a “medical home” that expanded services to include – primary & preventative medical care, dental services, nutritional education, laboratory services, diagnostic testing, women’s health programs, drug-dispensing services, counseling services, chiropractic services, physical therapy, family planning, Reiki, and podiatry.
    • Other services are offered offsite at specialty providers’ private practices including but not limited to eye care, orthopedics, urology, dermatology, surgical referrals, pain management, cardiology, and gastroenterology.
  • Patients are working with an income at or below the federal poverty guidelines and have no access to affordable medical or dental care. The Affordable Care Act is not universal and 30 million Americans are still uninsured. There are close to 29,000 uninsured in Luzerne County.
  • VIM is not a federally-funded program and does not charge for services. The clinic operates solely on donations, grants, and proceeds from special events.
  • Each year VIM hosts the Music, Memories & Medicine Gala, which is their biggest fundraiser. This year’s theme is a Galaxy Gala. The evening will include a live performance by Renee Nicole Gray, one of the top Lady Gaga impersonators in the world. Following the live performance, 570 Events will spin futuristic tunes for guests to enjoy. Previous event themes include Polynesian Paradise, Havana Nights and Back to the 80s.
  • The Memories & Medicine Gala is Friday, June 15, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Woodlands Inn & Resort. It costs $150 per person. Click here for more information, or check out this flyer for the event, front and back.