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.
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. Based on his success, Dr. McConnell helped other organizations duplicate his model across the country. Of the 88 Volunteers in Medicine clinics nationwide, CCVIM was the fifty-first opened under the founding model and one of eleven located in Pennsylvania.
CCVIM began in September 2006, located for the first three 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.
CCVIM, a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit, provides free non-urgent primary medical care for uninsured patients with incomes 300% or below the Federal Poverty Guidelines. Incomes are verified annually through tax returns. We do not see patients with any form of insurance or assistance, or patients under age 18 or over 65 to avoid duplication of patients eligible for Pennsylvania’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid, and Medicare programs. The CCVIM office is open Monday through Friday, with patient appointments during morning and evening hours to accommodate the patients’ work schedules. Since our doctors volunteer, we are not able to take walk-ins.
CCVIM provides many services free of charge, such as primary care, preventative care, screenings, education, routine physicals, medical case management, chronic disease monitoring, supplies for diabetics, smoking cessation, referrals, and a food pantry. Through the generous donation of Geisinger Health System, CCVIM is able to offer the patients free laboratory tests and X-rays, which are crucial to yearly monitoring and proper diagnosis. CCVIM providers are not permitted to prescribe any narcotics. and there are never any narcotics at the clinic.
CCVIM’s doctors, including our medical director and our specialists, donate their time and skills to the vulnerable population that we serve. CCVIM would not be able to afford to compensate the retired and actively practicing doctors whom are volunteering here. We have general practitioners and several specialists, as well as RN’s and LPN’s, nursing assistants, physician’s assistants, and certified registered nurse practitioners. CCVIM is proud to work with medical and non-medical volunteers on a regular basis.
We also fill many clerical, administrative and facility positions with community volunteers. One of our volunteers has been with us from the beginning, running the front desk every Thursday night. We are so grateful!
Click the link below for the downloadable copy of the 990 Tax Form.