Bill Heller, PhD, has been volunteering at Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) Clinic for 20 years and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Heller likes the idea of giving back and helping others who are in need.
When the director of volunteers at Martin Memorial Hospital told him about the VIM Clinic, he jumped right on it. Heller decided to volunteer one day a week at the clinic while still volunteering at the hospital. Heller remembers the VIM Clinic was located in a smaller facility than its current location. His job was to make sure the drug samples contributed by physicians were checked for expiration dates and organized on the shelves so that the nurses could readily find them.
“They (VIM) collected thousands of sample bottles and they filled in every storage area. The nurses set up the cabinets the way they wanted them,” said Heller.
Being a pharmacist, Heller finds it most interesting seeing how the drug companies are promoting their product. Heller is on the board of directors of the American Foundation of Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) and still volunteers for United States Pharmacopeia (USP). His main job at the VIM Clinic is to keep record of all the medicine that’s coming into the clinic.
When Heller graduated high school he joined the Army and they sent him to the University of Indiana. He went on to attend Biarritz American University in France to study journalism. So after the Army discharged him he had completed two years of college. His father was a part-time teacher at the University of Toledo. One day Heller and his dad were looking through their catalog and he decided to study pharmacy. That’s how his journey as a pharmacist began.
Heller loves volunteering at the VIM Clinic and it’s one of the most interesting jobs he has. Heller says he had no clue that he’d be volunteering his time here for 20 years.
“It’s made me much more aware of patients; even though I don’t interact with them, I still input information into a computer and that’s how I get to know them,” said Heller.
He strongly believes being a patient at the VIM Clinic is beneficial because you’ll get better health care here than any other place.