The Volunteer Voice
January 17, 2020

You are cordially invited...

Annual Appreciation Luncheon
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
11:30am to 2:00pm
Westmoreland Club

Hope to see you on the 28th

Outstanding Volunteers and Supporters
The Annual VIM Luncheon is a very small gesture  to express our gratitude to all the dedicated volunteers and generous supporters of Volunteers in Medicine.

VIM is for the community, by the community and would not exist to provide free healthcare services to our low income neighbors without the kindness of the below individuals, organizations and so many others. 
Vendor Partner:


Individual Donor or Fundraiser:

Corporate Partner:

Academic Institution/University:

Clinic Support Volunteer:

Volunteer Nurse:

Volunteer Health Care Provider:

Dental Clinic Support Volunteer:

Specialty Provider:

Community Partner:

Volunteer Dentist:

Volunteer Student:
Cougar Print- Misericordia Print Shop

The Luzerne Foundation

Sarah Haas Block

McCarthy Tire

Wilkes University- Passan School of Nursing

Mary Louise Harris
Susan Prusack

Theresa Martini
Ashley Saake

Durelle Scott, MD

Madison Yech

Michael Raklewicz, MD
William Charlton, MD
Christoper Kotchick, DMD

PA Vision Foundation

Joseph Carr, DMD

Derek Donaldson
Letter From VIM Patient

VIM's goal is to keep our community healthy, well and working . We continue to focus on being the safety-net provider for those that want to work and cannot afford health care. Below is an example of how VIM helped a patient while she started with a new employer and then eventually moved to full time status and was offered health insurance.
Mission Nutrition
The 2020 members of  Leadership Wilkes Barre  have chosen Volunteers in Medicine for a service project that they are calling  “Mission Nutrition” . A meeting was held at VIM on January 6th to discuss the project. A fundraiser will be held on  Thursday, February 27th from 6-10 pm  at the River Street Jazz Café. All proceeds from this fundraiser will go toward purchasing a commercial  refrigeration unit   and shelving  to provide larger quantities of nutritious food to our patients as an expansion of the food insecurity portion of the  Health Equity Program .

Currently, VIM receives fresh produce and non-perishable food items once a week to our families. Mission Nutrition will allow  more foods  such as milk, eggs, and meat to be distributed to patients. More information for this event to follow. Please mark your calendars ! Call April at 570-970-2864 with any questions.
Welcome to Our New Students
Moriah Teed is a Pharmacy student from Wilkes University. She is from Newark Valley, and hopes to practice Ambulatory Care at Geisinger. She is happy to be here and to represent the Wilkes Pharmacy Program.
Tricia Harenza is a Physician Assistant student from Misericordia University. She is from Mountain Top, PA, and hopes to practice Family Medicine in the local area . She is excited to be exposed to the variety of areas of medicine VIM provides to the community.

Derek Hunt is also a Pharmacy student from Wilkes University. He is from Hatboro, PA, and hopes to practice Managed Care Pharmacy at a health plan near Wilkes Barre.

Sonia Okolo is a Physician Assistant student from King's College. She is from Woodbridge, VA, and hopes to practice OBGYN.
VIM Chosen As Pilot Clinic
In a National Roadmap
To Health Eq uity Program
The Roadmap to Health Equity initiative is a joint project of Americares, the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and Loyola University Chicago in collaboration with State clinic associations and clinic leaders across the country. By collecting and reporting on a standardized set of quality measures, the initiative will give clinics a tool to demonstrate quality of care and assess progress in promoting health equity.
VIM Wilkes-Barre was chosen as one of the 50 pilot clinics in the Roadmap to Health Equity initiative. This initiative focuses on laying the foundation for improvements in care by creating a national reporting system that will help in identifying, and ultimately addressing any disparities in care that emerge. The goal is to ultimately create a national repository to track patient outcomes and measure the quality of care at free and charitable clinics across the country. The database will enable clinics to demonstrate the quality of care they provide, as well as identify areas that require additional attention to improve health outcomes for patients.

The picture above was taken at the National Free Clinic Conference in Atalanta in October, 2019.
U.S. Census In-Services
On Tuesday, January 14 th , Katie Derhammer, Partner Specialist with the United States Census Bureau, joined us at VIM for our monthly in-service. Katie educated staff, students, and volunteers on the importance of the Census and why we should encourage patients to participate. The Census occurs in the US every 10 years and counts every person regardless of his or her legal status. All data collected remains confidential and can only be used for statistical reasons. This data is important for many purposes and determines how government funding is allocated at the state, county, and community levels. 2020 Census day is April 1 st and everyone can participate by completing the census via mail or online. 
Upcoming In-Services
Mark your calendars and visit VIM for upcoming educational seminars with local resources.
Nurse-Family Partnership
Tuesday February 11 th
Presented by Deborah Rutkoski 

Laughter Yoga
March 17th 9-10am
Presented by Jeannine Luby

April 14th 9-10am
Presented by Kathy Hall and Dr. Michael Kovalick
U.S. cancer death rates recently dropped by the most ever in one year.
Will Pa. and N.J. see the same trend?
By: Stacey Burling, The Philadelphia Inquirer
In its annual report on cancer the American Cancer Society shared some good news Wednesday. The death rate for cancer fell by 2.2% from 2016 to 2017, the last year measured. That was the biggest one-year drop ever, and it was fueled largely by a decline in deaths caused by lung cancer, the organization said. New treatments have significantly increased survival rates for lung cancer.
“This year is a real standout,” Robert H. Vonderheide, director of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, said of the report. While death rates have been declining for many years, he was pleased to see that the speed of the drop is accelerating. “I think what we’re seeing for the first time is a bend in this curve toward better outcomes for our patients ,” Vonderheide said. He said he thinks the improvements are likely to continue because of gains in prevention, identification, and treatment . He credited immune therapies for cancer for a big part of the drop but said that efforts to reduce and stop smoking are also paying off.

The Cancer Society estimated that 15,710 people in New Jersey and 27,860 in Pennsylvania would die of cancer this year. With one exception — lung cancer in men — incidence rates for cancer in general, as well as breast, colorectal, lung, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and prostate cancers, were higher than the national average in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2016, the new report said. In a cancer society report released in 2015, which covered 2007 to 2011, cancer incidence rates were also generally higher in New Jersey and Pennsylvania than in the nation as a whole.

The new report found that Pennsylvania had higher mortality rates than the national average for all cancers from 2013 to 2017, as it did from 2007 to 2011. In New Jersey, overall cancer mortality rates were lower than the national average in the new report and close to the national average for most of the individual cancers analyzed. Mortality rates fell in both states between the two reports. A Cancer Society spokesperson said the numbers could not be compared directly. Nationally, lung cancer is still the top cancer killer, but death rates have dropped by 51% for men since 1990 and by 26% for women.The five-year survival rate for all cancers combined diagnosed between 2009 and 2015 was 67%. It was 68% for whites and 62% for blacks.

Purchase A Paver Form
February of 2020 will be the  100 Year Anniversary  of the original Lee’s Garage that now houses Volunteers in Medicine. Don’t miss your chance to etch your name in history! Purchase a paver that will be installed in the Spring around the border of the new parking lot.
Donate to VIM
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 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