The Coachella Valley’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 for technology upgrades as well as facilities maintenance.
“People need healthcare year-round, and for those who are uninsured and underinsured CVVIM is a reliable medical facility that provides care regardless if someone can pay,” said Doug Morin, CVVIM Executive Director. “These funds will help our clinic run more efficiently. We operate primarily through the generosity of volunteer medical professionals, therefore, how the facility runs and how our technology functions are extremely important to serving the needs of clients.”
Fundamental to the Volunteers in Medicine model, which has 86 clinics in its nationwide alliance, is the use of volunteers. The Coachella Valley clinic utilizes more than 230 volunteers including physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and administrative support. To date, volunteers have logged more than 150,000 hours Indio clinic. The value of this donated time exceeds $2 million.
“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.
CVVIM was founded by Dr. Ron Hare, a retired physician, local businessman and philanthropist who saw the need for free and low-cost care. In 2008, a local study group verified this need, which found that many people were using emergency rooms for primary care. In 2010, CVVIM opened with the support of all three local hospitals, the City of Indio, and the County of Riverside. Two years later, the clinic moved to its permanent location, a custom-built facility, funded by Riverside County and leased to CVVIM for $1 per year. Since opening, the clinic has delivered more than 35,000 patient visits to about 3,500 unique underinsured residents from all Coachella Valley cities.
“CVVIM has become a vital community resource to many, and we are happy to share its important and encouraging story,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine was featured on News Channel 3 programming including “Eye on the Desert” (which airs on CBS Local 2 weeknights at 6:30 p.m.), in public service announcements and on kesq.com. CVVIM is located at 82915 Avenue 48 in Indio. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the organization, call 760-342-4414 or visit www.cvvim.org.