The Volunteer Voice
May 29, 2020

Dear Friends,

When you look back on 2020, how will you remember it? A challenging time for the world? Months of staying at home to stay safe? Hope for family and friends to stay well? The staff at Volunteers in Medicine will remember it as a time when our low income neighbors needed services more than ever.

The clinic began concentrating on telehealth services on March 15, 2020 to ensure patients, students, staff and volunteers were safe and part of stopping the spread. This new delivery system has allowed us to guarantee that patients needing care continue to receive immediate quality services . Approximately 100 patients a week are receiving some type of medical care. We have dispensed free medications with a value of $20,000 in the last thirty days. The Clinical Pharmacist at VIM continues to obtain free medications through the Patient Assistant Programs and educate patients on managing their chronic diseases. Behavioral health services have become more important than ever during this challenging time. VIM’s Social Care Coordinator counsels an average of 20 patients a week. Many more patients need assistance with filling out forms and seeking community resources. It has been an extreme time of need to low income families and VIM is honored to be the safety net provider for those with no access to affordable health insurance or medical care. 

Will you help us forge ahead to a future ? A future that will be filled with an incredible increase in demand for a nonprofit organization that offers free health care services to the low income uninsured in our community! Twelve years ago, Volunteers in Medicine opened as the only full time, full service free clinic in Luzerne County and remains today. Over 1.1 million residents in Pennsylvania have applied for unemployment compensation in the last month and that number will continue to increase as the Stay at Home orders are in place. Small businesses have closed. It is difficult to predict the uninsured rate due to information being so volatile but the amount has increased exponentially. 

Every year on the Friday of Father’s day weekend, VIM has an annual Gala with proceeds to help support clinic operations-keeping the doors open to the community . We had an amazing concert planned under the stars at the Irem Temple Pavilion for Friday, June 19, 2020. We had no choice but to cancel that event, but we can still all be together under the same stars. Join us on June 19th for a night of reflection . Take a walk, have a picnic, dance, or sing. Whatever your choice, realize that your donation will help those that have experienced extreme difficulty during this coronavirus pandemic.

Be a hometown hero. Help us, help our neighbors.

Warmest Regards,

Kelly L. Ranieli
Executive Director 
What VIM Patients are Saying...

"Everyone- the staff, doctors, nurses, front desk are all very professional, polite and informative and helpful. I am cared for with respect ." Rachel is a 48 year old Hispanic female that has been receiving care at VIM for 3 years.

“I wasn’t able to manage my anxiety before but now I have the coping skills to prevent myself from a panic attack. I am getting more and more comfortable being around other people." Caitlyn is a 23 year old female with severe social anxiety and depression that has been receiving services from the behavioral health program at the VIM.

"I thank God for VIM.  I cannot afford health insurance.  I work and just don’t make enough to afford it. I need my blood pressure pills and cholesterol medications and they help with all of that." Thelma is a 56 year old African American female with multiple chronic medical conditions.

"I finally have a nice smile for my engagement pictures. My girlfriend is going to be so happy." Michael is a 30 year old male whose last visit to the dentist was when he was 12 years old. He has 16 cavities which require an extensive treatment plan of extractions, fillings and a root canal. VIM will attempt to restore the teeth but some are beyond repair.

“Our counseling sessions help clear my head so I can think clearly and helps me understand how my trauma has affected me, which helps me be the best version of myself”. David is a 37 year old male who started counseling last year to overcome trauma.

"I didn't know where to turn for help. Thank God for the clinic.   I am trying to find another job but right now I just cannot afford my medications." Jorge is a 53 year old male with diabetes that recently lost his job due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“When I start my week with our counseling session, I feel like I am ready to conquer the world. " Michael, a 54 year old man who utilizes counseling to overcome PTSD, addiction, and depression.

"I can't even begin to imagine what my life would be like without VIM . Honestly, I would probably be dead. " Gary is a 46 year old Caucasian male who has a history of extreme hypertension and was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Dr. Kimmy Nguyen, Clinical Pharmacist, meets with him on a regular basis for disease manageme nt of his hypertension.    
Donate to VIM
VIM is not a federally-funded clinic and does not charge for services . VIM is  not a federally-funded clinic and does not charge for services . The clinic operates solely from donations from businesses and individuals, grants from foundations and proceeds from special events.  Any amount of contribution  assists VIM with keeping our low-income neighbors  healthy, well and working. ic operates solely from donations from businesses and individuals, grants from foundations and proceeds from special events. Any contribution you are able to make assists VIM with keeping our low-income neighbors healthy, well and working .
Let's Get Social!
Volunteers   in   Medicine 
 190 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre PA 18702
Phone: 570-970-2864 | Fax: 570-970-2868