The Volunteer Voice
November 30th, 2018
Thank You to All Who Donated to
VIM on Giving Tuesday
We would like to express our sincerest thanks to all who donated to the clinic on Giving Tuesday this year! The continuous support of our mission from the "Valley with a Heart" is truly appreciated.

There is still time to make a donation to VIM this holiday season. Give the gift of health, hoping and healing to our low-income neighbors in need of care ! Donations can be made directly through our website or by sending a check to VIM at 190 N. Pennsylvania Ave, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.

Improving Care for Non-English Speaking Patients
As the  non-English speaking  population continues to rise in the United States, family practices are encountering an increasingly high number of patients in need of language services. The clinic has been able to offer English as a Second Language (ESL) classes twice a week thanks to two students from Misericordia University. The patients have been thrilled to attend and are excited to learn English.

When non-English speaking patients are better able to communicate with their healthcare provider, they more actively engage in their care plans. A study by Harvard Pilgrim Health Group showed that this patient group has a higher number of office visits, prescription filling and follow-up appointments. More and more family practices throughout the country are working to bring language services on board as the need continues to grow .
Patient Success Story
A 51 year old male contacted the clinic  hoping to be seen for a mass under his tongue. (above picture) The mass had been growing for over two months and the patient was unable to afford a biopsy because he had recently  lost his health insurance and does not qualify for Medical Assistance. He is currently working for a temp agency that does not offer insurance.

He was quickly seen by the clinic's Medical Director,  Dr. Durelle Scott . After examining the mass, Dr. Scott referred the patient to  Dr. Mahima Singh , Dental Clinic Director, who worked in conjunction with  Dr. Rich Grossman , volunteer dentist, to research treatment options.

It was determined that  a biopsy  would be necessary to determine the pathology of the lesion. Darcie Schaffer , Dental Clinic Manager, worked very diligently to find an oral surgeon that would perform the procedure for free or a discounted rate. Dr. David Bergy graciously volunteered his services  and completed the biopsy. The results determined that the patient had an invasive squamous cell carcinoma. The patient was immediately scheduled for an appointment with Chelsea Collins, Social Care Coordinator, to apply for Emergency Medical Assistance due to the severity of the diagnosis. The patient is now in the process of being scheduled with a surgeon to remove the mass.

The staff and volunteers at VIM were able to complete the care plan above  within a week  of the patient first walking in the clinic and will continue to monitor his condition over the next few months.
Interesting Statistics from the
PA Coalition for Oral Health
New statistics from the PA Coalition for Oral Health (PCOH) reveal issues with dental care for many individuals with Medical Assistance and the tremendous need for free clinics.

According to the PCOH,

  • Each year, at least 35,000 Pennsylvanians that are enrolled in Medicaid visit emergency rooms with dental pain. The vast majority of these visits are preventable and best handled in a dental setting.  
  • In 2016, only 45% of kids on medical assistance had a dental visit (even though services are completely covered by insurance). 
  • Tens of thousands of working adults depend on charitable dental clinics in PA for oral health services.

Patients that come to the dental clinic at VIM often have not been to dentist in years. Many times, it takes 2-4 appointments to get a patient out of pain. The goal of VIM is to educate patients on the correlation of their oral health to their overall health and to establish the patient on a preventative treatment schedule.
Join Us for VIM's 2019 Annual Luncheon
Join us on Tuesday, January 29th from 11:30 am - 2:00 pm at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre for our 2019 Annual Meeting and Appreciation Luncheon . 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.
Check out a few photos from last year's luncheon!
Save the Date!

Show some love to those in need!
Have a health, hope and healing!
Save the Date for our Valentine's Happy Hour! 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 will also host a silent auction . Support a healthy community while bidding on that unique gift for your special someone.

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.
Executive Director Attends
Free Clinic Association of PA
 Board Meeting
On Wednesday, November 28th, Kelly Ranieli , Executive Director, attended the Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania's (FCAP) Board Meeting in Harrisburg. Kelly serves as the President of the FCAP Board of Directors. Other Above board members represent the VIM in West Chester, VIM in State College, Leahy Clinic at the University of Scranton, Misericordia University and the McNeese Law Firm.
Welcome to our New Resident
Reginald Mbolda , a Geisinger Family Medicine Resident, spent time seeing patients in conjunction with Dr. Scott at the clinic this week. Reginald was happy to be assigned to the clinic to "provide medical service to people in need without insurance and to just give back to the community ". Upon completion of his program, he hopes to practice in Family Medicine .
Healthy Smiles Program
Visits Local Preschools
On Tuesday, November 20th, Darcie Schaffer , Dental Clinic Manager, presented the Healthy Smiles Program to children at the ABC Kiddie Kampus in Exeter. The children learned the proper way to brush their teeth and enjoyed practicing on Katie the Kangaroo .
Adopt-a-Single-Mom Program Presents
at Clinic's Monthly In-Service
On Tuesday, November 27th, Donna Nelson , Founder of the Adopt-a-Single-Mom Project , presented at the clinic's monthly in-service. Donna shared the mission of the organization which is to support single moms in NEPA through emotional and financial support. We look forward to sharing these resources with our patients.
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, the staff reviewed the Cycle Time Exercise assignment. This exercise gave the clinic an accurate assessment of the average length of time a patient spends at the clinic from checking in to checking out.

The next module in the PCMH process is Population Health . The assignment for this section is to identify the top ten predominant conditions and health concerns of our patient population.
Let's Get Social!
Volunteers  in  Medicine 
 190 North Pennsylvania Avenue
Wilkes-Barre PA 18702
Phone: 570-970-2864 | email: