The Volunteer Voice
December 14th, 2018
Happy Holidays from VIM
The staff at VIM would like to wish all of our dedicated volunteers and supporters a happy, healthy holiday season!
VIM's Volunteer Holiday Party
Thank you to all of the dedicated volunteers that attended this year's holiday party at Patte's Sports Bar on December 13th! A huge thanks to the board members that provided generous donations to allow us to have the party . It was a great evening spent celebrating successes in 2018 and looking forward to a prosperous 2019 .
Senator John Yudichak Visits VIM
On Wednesday, December 5th, Senator John Yudichak stopped by the clinic for a tour. He meet with staff and volunteers to learn how services have expanded since his last visit at VIM. Senator Yudichak also informed Kelly Ranieli , Executive Director, of potential funding opportunities the clinic may qualify for in the future.

Pictured above is Senator Yudichak and Kelly Ranieli .
Dental Clinic Staff Attend
PA Coalition for Oral Health Summit
On Thursday, November 29th and Friday, November 30th, Darcie Schaffer , Dental Clinic Manager, and Dr. Mahima Singh , Dental Clinic Director, attended the PA Coalition for Oral Health Summit at the Best Western Premier Hotel and Conference Center in Harrisburg, PA. The two-day summit brought dental leaders from across the Commonwealth together to foster new ideas and to help get a better understanding of under-served populations.

One of the primary issues identified during the Summit was the need to affect positive change throughout the system. Groups were able to have an open dialogue about the health inequity that exists throughout Pennsylvania. Attendees left the Summit hopeful that new partnerships in regional areas will lead the change over the next ten years.
Healthy Smiles Program
Provides Dental Screenings
On Tuesday, December 11th, Darcie Schaffer , Dental Clinic Manager, Dr. Mahima Singh , Dental Clinic Director, Shelby Goss , Dental Hygienist, and Kelly Ranieli , Executive Director, spent time at the Lyndwood Early Learning Center in Hanover Township conducting dental exams on students in the Pre-K Counts Program. Funds from the United Way of Wyoming Valley assist VIM in educating approximately 1800 children annually on good oral hygiene.

Mark Hiller and the crew from WBRE were also at the screenings to film for the 7:00pm news hour. They provided great coverage of the program which you can view by clicking the link below.
VIM Receives Donation from Navient
On Wednesday, December 12th, Kelly Ranieli , Executive Director, attended Navient's Day of Giving Luncheon . During the event, the clinic was one of 25 charitable organizations to receive a $1,000 donation from the employee Charity Committee.
Join Us for VIM's 2019 Annual Luncheon
Invitations will soon be on the way for our 2019 Annual Meeting and Appreciation Luncheon ! The luncheon will be held on Tuesday, January 29th from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre. We will recognize outstanding volunteers and supporters in ten special categories.

Sponsorship opportunities  are still available. Click the link below for the sponsorship levels and form. If additional information is needed please contact Amanda Ankner at or 570-970-2864.
Save the Date!
Cocktails for a Cause
Our winter fundraiser, Cocktails for a Cause , is less than two months away! The event will be on Tuesday, February 5th at Bistro on the Ave in Kingston from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Celebrity bartenders will be serving specialty drinks and we are also hosting an online auction .

The auction site is now live ! Click the link below to see all of items available to bid on for your special someone. New items are being added daily.

If you would like to be a sponsor by providing a gift certificate , monetary donation or gift item for our silent auction, please contact Amanda Ankner at or 570-970-2864.
Patient Success Story
One of VIM's patients is from the most dangerous city in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, Honduras . For years, her city was run by “maras”, dangerous gangs who bribe the local police and government. On a daily basis, the patient witnessed violence and experienced great poverty . She worked at her aunt’s small restaurant and the maras would come on a weekly basis to demand free food and a fee for her aunt to keep her business in operation. One week, her aunt told the maras she couldn’t pay, and the maras threatened her . The patient went to the police to try and get help but the police told the patient there was nothing they could do. The maras found out that someone went to the police, returned to the restaurant and murdered her aunt and then sexually and physically assaulted her. The patient feared for her life. Her remaining family members quickly collected money to pay for her to get out of Honduras and travel to Mexico, where she might be able to cross the border to come to the United States and apply for asylum.  

The patient made the journey from Honduras to Mexico and found a “coyote”, a person who helps people cross the border illegally into the United States. This brought its own traumatic challenges , and the patient was caught in Texas by US Border Patrol. The United States held her and her toddler son in a detention center before deporting her to Mexico. She was released in a part of Mexico where she knew no one. She again found a coyote, and successfully crossed the border, and made her way to Virginia, where her older half-sister lived. The patient was able to obtain an immigration lawyer in Philadelphia for free and moved to Wilkes-Barre to be closer to the lawyer and because the cost of living was more affordable. She gained steady, full-time employment , enrolled her child in school, and found a boyfriend who loved her even though she experienced overwhelming symptoms of PTSD.

The patient came to VIM and began counseling with Chelsea Collins, Social Care Coordinator. Chelsea and the patient used Google Translate, since the patient’s English was not strong. Chelsea was in contact with the lawyer and wrote a letter to the immigration judge on her behalf. The lawyer asked Chelsea if she would be willing to testify in federal court for the patient’s asylum hearing , which Chelsea agreed to. Chelsea testified over the phone and was questioned by the federal immigration lawyer, who was trying to deny the patient’s asylum. That day, the judge granted the patient asylum, but ICE immediately appealed the decision. The patient had to wait another three months for another trial. It was at that trial that the client, and her young son, were finally granted asylum.

The patient continues to meet with Chelsea for counseling and her son was able to enroll in CHIP. She has started a life for herself in Wilkes-Barre and hopes to attend a local university next year to pursue her bachelors degree. Her English has greatly improved and she no longer has a need to use a translation service. She is a true success!
Thank You to the
Wilkes Pharmacy Students
We would like to thank the students from Wilkes University's Pharmacy Program that stopped by the clinic last week to decorate for the Holidays! We hope to see them back for their clinical rotations .
Pictured above from left to right are Michael DiMaggio , Nicholas Gurski
and Jamey Mikovich .
Welcome to our New Student
Sierra Strouse is a pharmacy student from Wilkes University that completed her clinical introductory pharmacy practice experience at the clinic this past week. She was excited to be assigned to VIM because "it gave her the opportunity to help low-income individuals who otherwise may not have access to care". Upon graduation, Sierra would like to practice pharmacy in a hospital setting.
Save the Date
Upcoming Educational Community In-Services
Learning about other Luzerne County  community agencies in order to refer patients  is one of the many ways that VIM provides case management services. All in-services are from 9:00 am to 10:00 am and are held at the clinic. If you would like to join us for the next presentation, please RSVP to Chelsea at  or 570-970-2864.
 Tuesday, December 18th
VIM's Strategic Plan
Presented by Kelly Ranieli

Tuesday, January 22nd
The Importance of Pharmacology
Presented by the Wilkes University Pharmacy Students
Patient Centered Medical Home Update
During this week's PCMH call, staff reviewed the top ten predominant conditions and health concerns of our patient population. The top three diagnoses at the clinic are diabetes, hyperlipidemia and obesity.

The next assignment is to practice running new reports in our electronic medical records system. These reports will help staff identify and better manage high-risk patients which will improve overall care.
Let's Get Social!
Volunteers  in  Medicine 
 190 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre PA 18702
Phone: 570-970-2864 | email: