Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine
LVIM is a primary health care center that provides FREE medical care to the working uninsured residents of Polk County.
When a few key Watson Clinic physicians realized that a great number of Polk County community members were medically underserved, with no access to healthcare, they began to look for a solution. Led primarily by these physicians and the Watson Clinic Foundation, Lakeland came together to find a unique way to meet the healthcare challenges of the greater Lakeland community.
Inspired by the Volunteers in Medicine model started by Jack McConnell on Hilton Head Island, Dr. Glen Barden brought the idea to Lakeland and the dream became a reality.
On Valentine’s Day 2001, Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine opened its doors in the historic John Cox Grammar School on Lakeland Hills Boulevard. Today, LVIM is an independent nonprofit organization governed by a local Board of Trustees.
At LVIM, patients gain a medical home and have access to doctors’ visits, diagnostic testing, lab tests, ultrasound scans and x-rays at no charge. More extensive diagnostics, such as CT’s and MRI’s, are also available through a network of participating ancillary providers who volunteer their facilities, staff and professional time also at no charge to LVIM or the patients. Additionally, LVIM operates a full-service pharmacy, funded by United Way of Central Florida, filling approximately 30,000 prescriptions a year. The Prescription Assistance Program within LVIM secures almost $3 million of brand name prescriptions for patients at no charge. At LVIM, the treatment is free; the care is priceless.
“May we have eyes to see those rendered invisible and excluded, Open arms and hearts to reach out and include them, Healing hands to touch their lives with love, And in the process heal ourselves.”
The Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Model promotes a “Culture of Caring” while emphasizing the use of medical and non-medical volunteers. Being inclusive and welcoming to all is the foundation of the VIM Model. The “Culture of Caring” recognizes the strengths of those in need and respects their dignity. It prompts the idea that the manner in which people are treated during a visit to a VIM clinic is as important as the medical care they receive. Volunteers in Medicine clinics offer their services free of charge to patients and do not bill third-party payers.
LVIM is a proud member of the Volunteers in Medicine Alliance, a network of 92 health care centers in 30 states who follow the VIM Model. As a member of the alliance, LVIM has access to shared best practices, discounted group purchasing programs, educational material, webinars and a variety of other program offerings. Members also have ongoing access to national Volunteers in Medicine Consultants. Membership is provided without charge and members are required to participate in the annual national survey.
Directory of VIM Alliance members: http://volunteersinmedicine.org/volunteers-in-medicine-clinic-directory/
Rx Assistance Ext. 124 • Referrals Ext. 112