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VIMO reports jump in services
Patty Hannah left, volunteer coordinator for The Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics, receives a donation check from Newcomers’ Club board member Jonda Rourke. Funds were raised from a silent auction at the organization’s annual picnic. Proceeds are designated to go to local charities as part of the club’s giving back to the community. Submitted photo
Sequim Gazette staff
The Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics (VIMO) provided a 30-percent increase in patient services in 2010 compared to 2009.
“The economy continues to put pressure on the local health care delivery system. As a result VIMO continues to be the safety net for the uninsured,” said Larry Little, executive director.
“Many people continue to have no health insurance nor hope for obtaining insurance in the foreseeable future.”
The clinic provided 3,554 visits to 919 individuals from Clallam County.
VIMO saw 401 new patients.
The need for new patient appointments continues to stretch the capacity of the free clinic, Little said.
Without the continued support from Olympic Medical Center, including the facility and diagnostic services provided to VIMO patients, the clinic might not exist.
Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics expanded the services offered in 2010 by developing three new special clinics in addition to the regular medical and behavioral health services provided. The new clinics are: hypertension chronic disease management; diabetes chronic disease management; and behavioral health counseling.
The new clinics focus on improving the quality of lives of the patients and prevention of disease progression.
In 2010, it cost $253 to serve one patient for an entire year with primary medical care as compared to over $400 per patient reported from other like-sized free clinics, Little said. Care includes exams, labs, X-rays, medications and other services.
Little noted that 2011 will be another big year for the free clinic, as expansion plans include improvements in chronic care clinics and enhanced mental health services. The clinic also is striving to implement an electronic medical records system, Little said.
The Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics Clinic opened its doors in 2005 with the mission to provide health services to and advocacy for the people of the Clallam County who have no health care alternative.
For more information about the clinic, call 457-4431, see www.vimoclinic.org or e-mail Little at llittle@vimo clinic.org.