Volunteers in Medicine of Monroe County
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Volunteers in Medicine Free medical clinic?
Volunteers in Medicine is a free medical clinic for individuals residing in Monroe and Owen Counties who are without health insurance or the economic means to pay for health care. In Monroe and Owen Counties, nearly 17,000 adults and children are without any type of health insurance who are under 200% poverty or less.

This clinic is modeled after a national program with a history of success in other communities around the country. A group of retired medical professionals in Hilton Head, South Carolina established the first Volunteers in Medicine clinic in 1993. Today, the Vermont-based Volunteers in Medicine Institute helps new community clinics based on the Volunteers in Medicine model get started.

2. Who operates the clinic?
The free medical clinic is community-operated, community-owned, and community-financed. The success of the clinic requires a strong partnership with Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital, a volunteer staff including both medical professionals and lay volunteers, and the financial support of the community.

3. Who established this Volunteers in Medicine clinic?
Members of the local community, hand-in-hand with prominent members of the medical establishment, have established the free medical clinic to serve Monroe and Owen counties.

4. How is IUH Bloomington Hospital involved in the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic?
Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital, has long been a provider of non-profit healthcare services to the medically underserved  through the now defunct Community Health Access Program (CHAP) clinic, is a major partner in the Volunteers in Medicine clinic. The hospital provides three clinical staff, diagnostic testing (laboratory, radiology, cardiac, and others) and inpatient services when needed and when other programs will not cover the services.

5. What types of volunteers are needed at the free clinic?
Nearly 200 medical professionals volunteer at the clinic—but additional help is needed. Volunteers in Medicine clinics rely on donated time from both retired and active physicians and nurses, as well as volunteers from the community to provide administrative support.

Volunteer roles include:
  • Physicians, dentists and pharmacists
  • Nurse practitioners and nurses
  • Social workers and psychologists
  • Spanish medical interpreters
  • Patient educators and wellness instructors
  • Dietitians
  • Administrative and operational support.

6. How many other cities have Volunteers in Medicine clinics?
The first Volunteers in Medicine clinic, established in Hilton Health, South Carolina in 1993, has served as a model for some 75 additional clinics in cities across the United States, including Columbus and Indianapolis, Indiana.  For more information on the VIM model, see the national website at www.volunteersinmedicine.org

7. Where is the Volunteers in Medicine clinic located?
811 West 2nd Street, Bloomington, IN  47403

8. Who is eligible for care at the Volunteers in Medicine free medical clinic?
Individuals who:

  • Reside in Monroe or Owen County
  • Earn income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level
  • Do not have health insurance.

Children of adults who qualify for care at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic will be referred to Southern Indiana Pediatrics.

9. What does 200% of the federal poverty level mean?
The United States Department of Health and Human Services establishes the federal poverty level. The Volunteers in Medicine free medical clinic serves adults who earn at or below 200% of this level, which translates for the year 2012 to the following:

Persons in Household Household Income
1 $22,340
2 $30,260
3 $38,180
4 $46,100
5 $54,020
6 $61,940
7 $69,860
8 $77,780

For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,960 for each additional person.

10. What are the clinic’s hours of operation?
Monday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-in visits occur every day based on approval from the nursing staff on the urgency of the need, as well as availability of the providers.

11. What free services will be provided at the clinic?

  • Primary and preventive care for both chronic and acute illnesses
  • Health education
  • Medications for acute and chronic illnesses with only a low-cost handling fee
  • Psychological counseling
  • Diagnostic laboratory and radiology testing at Bloomington Hospital
  • Dental care (initial evaluation at the clinic, referrals to the offices of participating dentists, cleanings, fillings and extractions)
12. How is Volunteers in Medicine clinic financed?
Tax-deductible community contributions, grants, gifts-in-kind and an endowment.

13. How are donations made to the Volunteers in Medicine clinic?
Tax-deductible contributions can be made in two ways: a designated gift to the Volunteers in Medicine Fund and/or a gift to the clinic’s endowment.

For more information, see the Donate page

14. Can children receive care at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic?
Children of adults who qualify for care at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic will be referred to Southern Indiana Pediatrics.
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