by Will Michell
The World Health Organization (WHO) created World Health Day in 1948 to bring awareness to a concerning area of public health each year. This year the WHO has chosen health inequalities as its main area of concern. This is an issue that has worsened since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Health inequalities are differences in health outcomes among different demographics due to the conditions in which people were born, live, and work. The WHO has called for action to eliminate inequalities in access to health services, healthy food, healthy living situations, and healthy working conditions during 2021 and beyond.
The Volunteers in Medicine model promotes a culture of caring that recognizes the
strength and dignity of its patients. The model does so by promoting 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. Using this model Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine has been determined to reduce the inequalities of access to health services and healthy food since 2001. Here are some accomplishments of LVIM and its patients during 2020.
● Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine had over 30,000 patient visits.
● In March 2020 LVIM began the mobile food pantry serving hundreds of families
● 174 of LVIM patients lost weight.
● Over 18,000 prescriptions were filled providing needed medicine to patients.
● Over 50% of patients with either heart problems or diabetes improved their
● 97% of LVIM patients feel healthier.
Health determinants have medical and social factors that contribute to a person’s well-being. Having accessible and quality care is only a small fraction of a person’s overall health. Factors that are affected by things outside of the clinic include air and water quality, housing and transit, tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol and drug use, sexual activity, education, employment, income, family and social support, and community safety. It is in these areas where inequalities further the gap between healthy and unhealthy individuals.
Recognition of the things damaging our community’s health is the first step to building a healthier tomorrow. With support from outspoken community leaders, more light will be shed on the problems and potential solutions to health inequalities.
The hard work and dedication demonstrated by the doctors at LVIM has always been appreciated and always will be. Today, March 30th gives us a chance to express how much these volunteers have made a difference for those in need.
It is National Doctors’ Day! The first formal celebration of doctors dates back to March 30th, 1933 to honor the physicians in Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond led the movement to mail thank you letters to physicians and place red carnations on the graves of deceased doctors to show thanks. Later in 1991, President George H. W. Bush Proclaimed March 30th is National Doctors’ Day to honor physicians for their dedication and leadership. This date was chosen because on March 30th, 1842 the first use of ether as anesthesia for surgery was done successfully. This led to many medical advancements.
We want to encourage everyone reading this to send a thank you letter to your doctor for their hard work and perseverance during these times. These men and women have dedicated their lives to improving ours.
In appreciation of the many doctors providing care here at LVIM purely for the benefit of our community, here is our letter to you:
Dear Dr. Glen Barden, Dr. Robert Chapman, Dr. Gregory Cook, Dr. Gregory Daniel, Dr. Kevin Dorsett, Dr. Robert Eanett, Dr. Raju Kotipoyina, Dr. James Magnusen, Dr. Eduardo Moreno, Dr. Thomas Oates, Dr. Jeffrey Puretz, Dr. Richard Rutherford, Dr. Fred Schreiber, Dr. Hugo Tapia, and Dr. Uzi Talit,
You all have used your brains, your hands, and your hearts to care for the people of Polk County. You all have made an astronomically valuable contribution to the patients of Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine. We want to thank you for your selfless work. Thank you for your dedication to practicing medicine in the purest form. All of your hard work has been recognized by the staff, volunteers, and patients to create a strong, healthy community.
It’s time to dust off your Derby hats or make a new hat and join us in April for our first ever Virtual Hat Contest!
Swan Derby may be rescheduled for October 15th, but we are still going to have some fun in April! We will be having a Virtual Hat Contest on Instagram throughout the month of April.
WHERE: Instagram @wearelvim
WHEN: April 1st – 30th
WINNING CATEGORIES: Most Creative, Fan Favorite
DETAILS: During the month of April, post a selfie in your Derby hat, tag us @wearelvim and use #swanderby when you post. Make sure you have your friends like your post to be considered for the Fan Favorite category!
The Most Creative winner will be chosen by a group of LVIM staff members and the person who receives the most amount of likes will be the Fan Favorite winner.
Winners will be announced and tagged on Instagram on the week of May 3rd.
Don’t worry, we are not going to miss out on the fun! Follow us on Instagram @wearelvim throughout the month of April for selfies of our staff and volunteers in their Derby hats!