Volunteers in Medicine Clinic (VIM) is the only nonprofit clinic in Bend that cares exclusively for the uninsured without charge, providing free medical care to low-income, uninsured adults from working families in Central Oregon. The organization believes everyone has the right to basic healthcare services and it is the responsibility of a caring community to reach out to those in need. VIM patients are not eligible for ACA programs, and do not have the funds to pay for medical services out-of-pocket. VIM is here to help cover that gap, serving over 1,100 patients annually.
The clinic manages over 200 volunteers annually, and all care is provided through medical, support and admin volunteers. Last year alone, VIM leveraged 300 local specialists representing 46 specialties to provide pro-bono visits to 321 VIM patients outside the clinic.
VIM helps patients like Gloria: she has lived in Bend for over 18 years, works as a baker and can’t afford to pay for medical care on her own. She was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic. “I had no idea of the negative effects of a high carbohydrate diet,” Gloria says. “I was referred to the diabetes class at VIM — I was very concerned that I and my daughter would become diabetic. Attending VIM’s diabetes education classes had a huge impact on my life. I learned how to eat a balanced and healthy diet with special attention to my intake of carbohydrates. Now I am conscious of what and how much I eat.
“I also decided to do a challenge with friends. We researched better meal and exercise plans, and in the end I lost weight and I am no longer pre-diabetic! Since becoming a patient at VIM, my health has changed for the better. I am living a healthier lifestyle. I am very appreciative of VIM!”