Our deepest condolences to the family of Michale Gentile, 52, who passed away in August. Gentile became a VIM Clinicpatient in early 2011, after closing his Palm City restaurant. No longer able to obtain insurance, his health continued to deteriorate, requiring complex, multidisciplinary care coordinated by his physician, VIM Clinic Medical Director, Dr. Howard Voss.
Gentile was always friendly and easygoing. He spoke highly of Dr. Voss and the clinic staff. He agreed to be profiled in our newsletter and to act as a patient spokesperson because he believed highly in the clinic’s mission of care.
“There’s not a person here that makes you feel you’re any less of a person because you can’t afford to pay,” he once said. “The staff here is great. I actually look forward to coming here.”
Sadly, Gentile’s health problems had become too severe and he was not able to recover as he had hoped. He was admitted to Martin Health System for dialysis and eventually released into nursing home care. By then, he had qualified for Medicaid and was no longer a VIM patient, but Dr. Voss continued to check up on him to see how he was doing. They last spoke a few days before Gentile’s death.
During his visits to VIM Clinic, Gentile was positive, upbeat and very grateful for his care. “This place is a Godsend,” he once said. “It should be 10 times the size that it is with donations flooding through the door — it’s just that important to the community.”
He said VIM Clinic gave him great peace of mind knowing that he would be cared for with compassion and dignity.
“It’s not what you do, it’s the way you do it that matters,” he pointed out. “That’s what this place is all about — making a difference.”