Current news and updates regarding the Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine Community.

Congratulations Mary!

LVIM is excited to announce that Mary Terry has been promoted to Operations Manager.

When Mary joined the LVIM team as the Clinical Trainer in August of last year, she filled a great need in our clinic assisting our volunteer providers with learning the electronic health record.  Shortly thereafter, she quickly and excitedly took on the training of all volunteer positions (with the exception of Intake Screeners).  This addition alleviated the pressure on the Volunteer Manager’s position and helped LVIM rethink our organizational structure in order to improve the flow of communication and balance out the workload on some of our positions.

Since joining the LVIM family, Mary has been all-in in every aspect. Not only has she excelled in her role as a trainer, she has led quality and process improvement efforts, has taken on data collection, and stepped up to manage the YMCA Steps to Good Health Program.

Please join us in thanking Mary for all she does for LVIM and congratulating her on her promotion.


Mobile Food Pantry


February 2021 Update

In March of 2020, LVIM became a Mobile Food Pantry site twice a month thanks to the George W Jenkins End Hunger Initiative in partnership with United Way of Central Florida and Feeding Tampa Bay.

Since then, we have provided over 150,000 lbs of fresh food to 5,757 Households including 19,159 people, of which 6,468 are children and 1,514 are patients of LVIM. This would not be possible without the above-mentioned partnerships, volunteers, and staff who work hard twice a month distributing food to the community.

LVIM will continue to host the Mobile Food Pantry on the SECOND and LAST Tuesdays of each month.  Registration begins at 11 AM and distribution is from 12 PM – 2 PM or until supplies run out.

To ensure we are good neighbors to those who live around us and to enable us to serve as many households as possible, please make note of the items listed below.

  • Registration will not begin until 11 AM.
  • NO parking on Peachtree prior to the registration time.
  • Please do not block driveways to homes and businesses.
  • Limit of 2 households per car and a member of the household must be present.


In Memory of Julius Rhian

Mr. Julius came to LVIM at the very beginning, in 2001.  He and his wife Betty were faithful volunteers, always present and always loving.  Betty passed away several years ago, but Mr. Julius never stopped showing up.

LVIM was his family.

In May, Mr. Julius turned 93.  And, as his vulnerability to the COVID19 virus rose, we encouraged him to stay home, but he did not want to stop volunteering.

And, so he showed up with his kind eyes, willing heart and healing hands.

And we were happy to have him.  He loved his work in the Prescription Assistance office, making sure our clients got their medications when they needed them.

In July, Mr. Julius decided it was time to stop.  He was getting too tired, he said.

Our staff and volunteers rallied and gave him a drive-by tribute, honking our horns and waving balloons and bearing gifts of hot tea and soup, two of his favorite things.  Londa, our Director of Patient Services, kept in touch with him regularly.  But, on November 10th, we received a call we dreaded.  Mr. Julius had passed away after having taken a fall and broken his hip.

Mr. Julius served LVIM for nearly 20 years. And he is sorely missed.

To honor Mr. Julius, there will be a tribute displayed in the Prescription Assistance Office.

Each year we honor an exceptional volunteer, one whose service goes above and beyond, with the LVIM Volunteer of the Year Award.

From this year forward, this award will be named in Mr. Julius’s honor.

The Julius Rhian 2020 Volunteer Of the Year

The 2020 Julius Rhian Volunteer of the Year began volunteering with LVIM a few years ago during her summer breaks from the University of Central Florida.  She graduated in December of 2019 with her undergraduate degree and came back to volunteer on a full-time basis in early 2020. She stayed with us throughout the entire COVID situation, during which time she was often the only clinical volunteer onsite. She was cross-trained and easily transitioned from the clinic to the pharmacy to the lab, sometimes all in a single day. She has been such a blessing to LVIM, especially during these difficult times.

She is currently applying to PA school, to become a physician assistant, and also has an externship with a physician in Orlando beginning soon which means her time with us is drawing to a close. She is an intelligent, confident, and highly motivated young professional who will go far both in life and her career.

The 2020 Julius Rhian Volunteer of the Year goes to….Laura Roth!!!

Thank you, Laura, for your dedication to LVIM and to the field of medicine.

2020 Physician of the Year

The LVIM Physician of the Year Award is given to a physician who exhibits exceptional practice, passion for LVIM’s mission, dedication to patient care, and who is also appreciated and lauded by his or her peers.

This year’s Physician of the Year is no stranger to our community.

He is a well-known and deeply loved physician and has been an integral part of LVIM’s story from the very beginning.  The 2020 LVIM Physician of the Year has been an LVIM board member, advisory board member, and has been a volunteer physician since his retirement from his professional career as an orthopedic surgeon.  He has given 1,831 hours of service to LVIM alone but gives of his time and skill in service to many others as well.  This physician never stopped seeing patients in need during the COVID-19 crisis and is always available to lend a hand, an ear, or his wisdom.

The 2020  LVIM Physician of the Year goes to…Dr. Glen Barden!

Dr. Barden, you are a treasure and we are eternally grateful for everything you have done to make LVIM a reality.

LVIM End of Year Celebration

In the spirit of the holidays and in the era of COVID-19, our End of Year Celebration is Virtual this year!

There are two virtual links below. Our End of Year video highlights our 2020 achievements.  Our segment of Holiday Cooking with LVIM allows you to join us in your kitchen for a Thanksgiving Reboot using your leftovers.

To view the End of Year Celebration video, click below.

To join us in your kitchen for our segment of Holiday Cooking with LVIM, click below.

Click here to view the Thanksgiving Reboot Recipes.

Spread Joy, Not Germs

by Caroline Benitez

This holiday season spread joy, not germs. Social distancing and face masks should be on your to-do list this winter, but make sure to check it twice- and add hand washing to keep yourself and others healthy.

The CDC estimates that regular hand washing can reduce your everyday risk of respiratory infection by at least 16%. Hand sanitizer is a good backup when you’re on the go, but washing with plenty of soap and water is ideal to remove built-up dirt and grease. Tell germs “they better watch out” by remembering to wash between your fingers and under fingernails.

You might know that you should wash your hands for at least twenty seconds, or about how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. But if you want to get into the holiday spirit, below are some fun holiday tunes you can use instead!

Sleigh Ride
“Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too/ Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!
Outside, the snow is falling, and friends are calling, “yoo-hoo!”/ Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!”

Let it Snow
“Oh, the weather outside is frightful/ But the fire is so delightful/And since we’ve no place to go/Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
It doesn’t show signs of stopping/ And I’ve brought some corn for popping. / the lights are turned way down low/ Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

All I Want for Christmas is you
I don’t want a lot for Christmas/ there is just one thing I need/ I don’t care about the presents/ Underneath the Christmas tree. / I just want you for my own/ more than you could ever know/Make my wish come true/ All I want for Christmas is you!”

Welcome Eva Hawkins!

It is with warm excitement that I get to introduce LVIM’s new Volunteer Manager to you!

Meet Eva Hawkins!

Eva comes to LVIM with an array of experience and a passion for LVIM’s mission.

For the last four years, she has been the Watson Clinic Foundation’s Arts in Medicine Coordinator where she worked with volunteers to bring the healing power of art to individuals undergoing cancer treatment. In this role, she worked closely with the medical community and managed the day-to-day operations of the program, including volunteer recruitment and management.

Prior to her role with the Arts in Medicine Program, Eva was the Program Director for Project Think Pink Program at WeCare of Polk County, one of LVIM’s closest collaborative partners.  While there, she oversaw both the day-to-day operation of a grant-funded free mammogram program and the fundraising initiatives that made it possible.

Her background is comprised of a wealth of experience in human resources, non-profits, and organizational development.  Fun fact:  Eva is also a twice published author and an avid quilter.  Many of her quilts are on display at the Watson Clinic Cancer Center as part of the programs rotating art collection.

We are excited to welcome Eva’s creativity, warm spirit, and extensive knowledge and experience to LVIM.   Eva officially began her new role as LVIM’s Volunteer Manager on November 9th.

Welcome to the LVIM Family Eva!

Early Detection Saves Lives

by Caroline Benitez

According to the American Cancer Society, 276,480 women will be diagnosed with a new case of breast cancer in the United States each year, making it the most common kind of cancer among women. At LVIM, we realize that early detection through mammography screening is essential in catching cancer in its early stages. Thanks to partnerships with WeCare and Radiology Imaging Specialists (RIS), our patients get free access to this vital screening service. In 2019, 54% of qualified patients received their mammograms through LVIM. Since LVIM first opened its doors in 2001, over 6,360 mammograms have been performed.

Whether you’ve had a breast cancer screening in the past, or aren’t sure when it’s time to start, just remember your A-B-Cs:

A- Annual mammogram

Once you reach the age of fifty, it’s recommended that you start getting an annual mammogram. Mammograms are low-dose x-rays of the breast tissue that can be used to detect early signs of breast cancer. If you are of low or average risk, your doctor might recommend that you only need to complete a mammogram every two years.

B- Breast awareness

Get in the habit of performing a breast self-exam once a month.  Because it’s normal for healthy breast tissue to feel lumpy, a monthly self-examination can help you keep track of any new changes. While the majority of lumps felt during a self-exam are unlikely to be cancer, you can report any concerns to your healthcare provider for further advice.

C- Clinical breast exam

Starting in your 20’s, women should receive a breast exam from their doctor or nurse as part of their regular health checkups. This is also a good time to assess your personal risk factors for breast cancer, such as a family history of cancer or other genetic components.  Using this information, you and your healthcare team can work together to create a personal timeline of any and all screening procedures you should be receiving.

About LVIM

LVIM provides free, high-quality, out-patient medical, dental, and mental health care to the working uninsured of Polk County in a compassionate manner. Through 19 years of excellent leadership, LVIM has grown into a thriving and crucial organization for the Polk County community serving the health care needs of over 4,300 eligible patients each year and providing over $9 million in services in 2019 alone. At LVIM the treatment is free, the care is priceless!

“About Breast Cancer.”, 2020,

LVIM is Fighting the Pink Tax for Pink Month

During the month of October, LVIM is taking part in a feminine products drive.  Did you know around 1 in 4 women struggle to afford period products?

You might be asking how you can help.  You can drop off items such as pads, tampons, pantyliners, and feminine wipes at LVIM.  Our address is 600 West Peachtree St, Lakeland, FL 33815.

We will be adding new drop off locations here as well as on our social media.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @wearelvim.

Let us know if you would like to become a drop off location!

Click here for more information about the Pink Tax.

NEW dropoff locations this week, look for the PINK box!

Krazy Kricket – 115 E Main St, Bartow, 33830

Southern Posh – 145 W Broadway St, Fort Meade, FL 33841