Volunteers in Medicine
The national organization was started in 1994 by Dr. Jack McConnell, a retired physician in Hilton Head, NC. Appalled that one in three residents in Hilton Head was uninsured, Dr. McConnell started a local non-profit to operate a free clinic in Hilton Head. VIM’s provide free primary healthcare from medical and non-medical volunteers to patients who do not have any type of insurance. Both retired and practicing medical providers donate their time and knowledge to the clinics.
Based on his success, Dr. McConnell helped other organizations duplicate his model across the country. Of the 88 independent Volunteers in Medicine clinics nationwide, CCVIM was the fifty-first opened under the founding model and one of eleven located in Pennsylvania.
Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic
The Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine (CCVIM) is part of the Volunteers in Medicine Alliance, a national nonprofit dedicated to building a network of sustainable, free, primary health care clinics for the working uninsured in local communities, especially those in rural areas like Columbia County and lower Luzerne county.
CCVIM began with our founder, Bette Grey, on September 2006, and was located for the first few months in a small space in Berwick, PA.
A local resident, Myles Katerman, wintered in Hilton Head, was friends with Dr. McConnell, and had donated to the original clinic. Mr. Katerman became interested in setting up a clinic in Columbia County and donated monthly rent for a larger building in Mifflinville for CCVIM which formally opened on March 29th, 2007. Based on CCVIM’s continuing success, Mr. and Mrs. Katerman eventually purchased the current building as a home for CCVIM. His generosity allows CCVIM to operate in a professional space with very low overhead by eliminating the costs for rent or mortgage.