The following was submitted for publication on behalf of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation:
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, Founder and Chairman of CVVIM. “Being selected as a Coachella Valley Spotlight recipient will let other people know we are here and about the services we provide, plus it will hopefully attract more volunteers and critical financial support for our growing clinic.”
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 3000 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.
“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.
Along with the funds, throughout the month of July Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine will be featured on CBS Local 2’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on the www.cbslocal2.com website. CVVIM is located at 82915 Avenue 48 in Indio. To schedule an appointment or to learn more about the organization, call 760-324-4414 or visit www.cvvim.org.