Advent Calendar Day 11: Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicne

Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine

Quote . . .Nearly 20 years ago, Dr. Jack McConnell, a retired physician, set out to create a culture of caring for the medically underserved of South Carolina. His vision was realized in 1994 when a new, no-cost clinic known as Volunteers in Medicine opened its doors. Today, more than half of the states in the nation have Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) clinics. That vision is now a part of the Coachella Valley. (Information brochure for the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine)

Our Forum member, Suzanne, is a volunteer nurse at the Indio Clinic.

Mission Statement

“The Mission of the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine is to provide a no-cost Primary Health Care Service to medically underserved people residing in the Coachella Valley” (Clinic brochure)

The Clinic address is 81-880 Dr. Carreon Drive Suite B-103 in Indio. Phone number 760-342-4414

For the rest of the story download or view the Feasibility Study that launched the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine Clinic (18 MB PDF file). Hear what the Spirit is saying.

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For further reflection

Our Vision

In 2007, a group of concerned local citizens convened at JFK Memorial Hospital. They recognized an enormous gap in access to primary care services for the poor and medically uninsured, and set out to explore viable solutions for addressing the problem.

A feasibility study was commis­sioned to review the utilization of health care services and the demographics of patients served in Eastern Riverside County.

Needs Analysis

  • 80,000 or 15% of adults over the age of 18 have no health insurance
  • Younger adults, the Latino population and lower-income individuals are disproportionally impacted
  • One third have incomes below $25,000
  • Access to care is limited for the uninsured
  • Doctors/urgent care facilities require insurance or other payment methods
  • Emergency rooms are used for primary care services
  • More than $20 million dollars was spent for ER services for the uninsured

Who we are

The Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine clinic offers a caring environment in which patients receive family practice, internal medicine, and pediatric services. Treatment for colds or flu, minor lacerations, chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis or hypertension will be appropriately addressed. Patients seen by this clinic may avoid unnecessary hospitalization and financial burdens, while relieving local emergency rooms of non-emergent visits.

Our personnel structure is unique. The clinic is staffed by retired or working physicians, nurses, and other professionals.

These dedicated individuals practice without compensation. Providing no-cost healthcare to the uninsured enables professional staff, as well as volunteers, to concentrate on the health and wellness of their patients – not on billing and financial matters.

Who we serve

Those who, whether working or unemployed, have no health insurance and are not eligible for any public option or publicly funded healthcare programs.

Source: Clinic brochure

Logo: The Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine brochure

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (now retired) in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

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