Free Medical Clinic Gets $25,000 Shot in the Arm
Valley non-profits encouraged to apply for grant
Riverside County’s only free medical and dental clinic was awarded a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine (CVVIM) will use the funds to upgrade its electronic medical records system as well as pay for critical medicines, laboratory tests and imaging services for patients who have come to rely on the Indio clinic.
“For many, CVVIM is the first reliable medical home they have ever known, giving them ongoing access to services when they need them,” said Dr. Ron Hare, CVVIM Founder and Chairman. “Being selected as a Coachella Valley Spotlight recipient has helped to spread the word about our clinic and the valuable service we provide, and will hopefully attract more volunteers and critical financial support, which our growing clinic needs.”
After three years of planning, CVVIM opened in 2010 with the backing of all three local hospitals, the City of Indio, and the County of Riverside. In late 2012, the clinic moved into its permanent home, a custom-built facility, funded by Riverside County and leased to CVVIM for $1 per year. Since opening, the clinic has delivered more than 14,000 patient visits to over 3,000 low-income, underinsured residents from all Coachella Valley cities. Appointment-only care is provided almost exclusively by volunteer medical and dental professionals.
“It is inspiring to see these professionals volunteer their time to care for people who might not otherwise get the medical help they need,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Program Officer for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
Fundamental to the Volunteers in Medicine model, which has 95 clinics in its nationwide alliance, is the use of volunteers. The Coachella Valley clinic utilizes more than 125 volunteers including physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and administrative support.
To date, volunteers have logged more than 28,000 hours at the Indio clinic. The value of this donated time exceeds $1 million, yet more volunteering professionals are needed.
“CVVIM has become a vital community resource to many, but they have the capacity to help even more people, so we are happy to expose this ‘best kept secret’ in local healthcare,” said Mike Stutz, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2.
Coachella Valley Spotlight grant applications are currently being accepted through September 19, and all Coachella Valley-based nonprofits that have not previously received the award are eligible to apply. The CBS Local 2 Community Advisory Board will select twelve charitable organizations to receive media exposure and a $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
To learn more about CVVIM and volunteer opportunities, call (760) 342.4414 or visit www.cvvim.org. Coachella Valley Spotlight applications are available at www.cbslocal2.com and must be postmarked by Friday, September 19, 2014. Recipients will be notified in December. For more information call (760) 773.0342.