have been served at Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine.
There are 83,362 individuals in Polk County who do not have health insurance*; that’s nearly 12% of our total population.
72,359 of these individuals are adults between the ages of 18 and 64. They are parents, artists, servers, and health care workers. They are students, self-employed entrepreneurs, lawn care technicians, and more!
LVIM exists to fill the gap in healthcare coverage for those who are working and uninsured. Our patients do not qualify for government assistance, but cannot afford the price tag of high cost health insurance premiums.
Whether the company they work for doesn’t offer insurance or their family can’t afford what insurance is offered, families are left with nothing and no backup plan for when things go wrong. Without assistance, families rely on the emergency room as their healthcare provider, the bills rack up, often resulting in personal bankruptcy. Or, worse, these individuals are caught with few resources and often feel they have no choice but to let chronic illnesses go untreated, often resulting in worse outcomes than if treatment had been available.
That’s where Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine steps in.
*Data provided by Polk County Health and Human Services Indigent Health Care Department
LVIM provides FREE, primary medical, dental, and mental health care to those who are working and uninsured in Polk County, FL.
With the help of more than 5,785 volunteers and 570 volunteer doctors, dentists, and ARNPs, since 2001 LVIM has done the following…
See What We Offer Below
- Chronic Disease Management – At LVIM, when a patient is diagnosed with a chronic disease, the patient is referred to a chronic disease clinician and an initial evaluation is performed with the patient. This evaluation includes medical history, lifestyle choices, baseline testing, personal goals and clinician goals. From there, a plan of action is developed, implemented and monitored. At LVIM the most prevalent chronic diseases are diabetes, obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol. In 2017, LVIM implemented specific progress monitoring measures to ensure that the healthcare LVIM provides is making a measurable difference for our patients.
- Early Detection Saves Lives – Patients at Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine (LVIM) receive recommended annual health screenings as outlined by the United States Preventative Services Task Force, ensuring that those who are diagnosed with cancer, chronic diseases, or other potentially lethal illnesses are able to access the treatments needed to get well and stay well. This helps patients avoid trips to the ER that often result in expensive care that becomes burdensome on both families and the hospital that cannot recoup the cost.
- Specialty Care
- Lab Services
- Generic Rx
- Prescription Assistance
Through the Pharmacy Program, LVIM improves the health and well-being of patients. The majority of LVIM’s patients have chronic or multiple chronic conditions that require multiple patient visits as well as multiple prescriptions and if not properly treated complications can lead to hospitalization or event death. LVIM’s pharmacy carries an array of generic medications and does not deal in any narcotics whatsoever. Additionally, LVIM coordinates prescription assistance through major pharmaceutical companies in order to meet the need of patients who require name-brand drugs or in cases where there is not a generic option. LVIM’s pharmacy program helps patients get well and stay well so they can get back to what is important to them – living life.
- Vision Screenings
- Patient Education
- Human Services & TeleHealth
The Patient’s Story
Click below to watch the stories of patients who are the true testimonies
of the LVIM mission and the ‘culture of caring’ here at LVIM.
Barbara Smith is the rock of her family, the one to whom everyone turns when they need help. When her mother died about a year ago, she moved her family into her mother’s home in order to help care for her brother who has cerebral palsy. Barbara was also very sick. Following a twelve-day hospital stay for a lung infection related to the mold in her previous home, she turned to LVIM determined to focus on her health.
Like many Polk County residents, Barbara has been without health insurance or a regular health care provider for most of her adult life. Her husband works full-time, but the expense of the health insurance offered by his employer is too high for them to manage. She found LVIM three years ago when a neighbor referred her to help with the dental work she needed. When she started seeing a provider she had uncontrolled asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and would soon be diagnosed with Hepatitis C.
Barbara is a mother of four and a grandmother of six. She knew it was time to focus on her health. Over the last six months, she has lost 56 pounds. The asthma, high blood pressure, and diabetes are now controlled with the help of medications. Following a course of Harvoni, a treatment for Hepatitis C, she received through LVIM, Barbara is now cured of this potentially fatal disease! Barbara now likes to experiment with recipes by replacing ingredients with healthier options. She carries a notebook with her everywhere and makes notes about what she likes and does not like so that she can review it with the nutrition educator at LVIM monthly.
Barbara is determined to lose enough weight to be able to lower the medications she has to take and knows the way to do this is through the help of her primary care provider, APRN Emma McMicken, and the Nutrition Educator Katherine Bates at LVIM.
As her health has continued to improve, Barbara has been able to do more of what she loves which is being there for her family. Whether it is painting rocks with her middle school-aged son, cooking for her family or helping with her grandchildren.
It is through the support of funding partners such as Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, Polk County Indigent Healthcare, and United Way of Central Florida, as well as other community collaborations, that has seen Barbara through some dark times, and literally saved her life and gave her back to her family.