With the growing cost of medical care, the uninsured are facing issues being able to afford proper health care. However, a local First Coast clinic is changing that. Volunteers in Medicine Jacksonville is a non-profit organization that offers free health care to low income, uninsured adults and their family.
The clinic opened over a decade ago and now serves more than 1600 patients annually. CEO, Mary Pat Corrigan said that it’s all about people helping each other. “Bottom line we are here to keep people working, keep them healthy, and keep them out of the emergency rooms. We see between 1700 to 2100 people a year who otherwise would not have access to our primary care doctors and our specialists, or mental health services, medications.”
Physicians like Victoria Findley says she can relate to patients who are in need “The people that are here, all the volunteers, even those of us who are on staff. We’re here because we want to help people. I did not grow up with money; I grew up in a single-parent home. My mom was a teacher. I understand when people say I had to make the decision between getting my medications or having enough food.”
The doctors at volunteers in medicine are proud to provide their patients with quality healthcare, and patients are equally as proud to receive the healthcare. Patients of a few years William Francisco said that he appreciates the clinic in its entirety. He said “they have done everything from EKG’s, where they check my heart, weight, dietary issues, lots of pamphlets on how to better maintain, and to just kind of be a better person as far as where you are physically.” He went on to say that the clinic even helps with medication cost.
Alternatives like VIM vow to continue keeping Jacksonville residents healthy. For more information regarding becoming a patient or a volunteer, you can visit vim-jax.org