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, Inc.
The Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, Inc. (CCVIM) is part of the Volunteers in Medicine Alliance, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting local communities in the building of a network of sustainable, free, primary health care clinics for the working uninsured.
The need for a clinic like CCVIM began in 2004 with our founder, Bette Grey’s personal experience of needing critical care and having no insurance. Wanting to prevent others from being in the same situation, she began three years of meetings and planning to make CCVIM a reality.
On March 29, 2007, through the benevolence of Columbia-Montour Family Health who loaned the clinic space on Market Street in Berwick, the Columbia County Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, Inc, officially opened.
In June 2007, the clinic found its new and current home at 310 East Third Street in Mifflinville. Myles Katerman, a local resident, saw an article in the Press-Enterprise newspaper that Bette Grey was starting a local VIM-model clinic. Mr. Katerman, who wintered in Hilton Head, had donated to his friend Dr. McConnell’s original VIM clinic. He began donating monthly rent for the larger building that was needed for the growing demand of uninsured people in our area.
After a few years of seeing CCVIM addressing the needs of people with no other options for healthcare, Myles and his wife, Joanne Katerman, purchased the building. Their generous donation allows CCVIM to operate in a professional space with very low overhead by eliminating the cost of rent or a mortgage.