STUART — For some people, ending a successful career is the ultimate goal. You worked to enjoy the next stage in life. Karen DeLorenzo, RN, has been the charge nurse at Volunteers in Medicine Clinic for eight years.

She thought she had retired, but when she met Betty Tsarnas, ARNP, and Mary Fields, executive director, she was hired.

DeLorenzo still remembers her first day and it was a memorable experience. Now that she’s retiring, reminiscing about her earlier days is something she does often.

“When I got here (to VIM), everyone was good to me and very kind. I was trained, made friends, and immediately felt at home,” said DeLorenzo. “I’ve learned that every patient in the United States should have medical care. I’ve also learned to be cautious of my own judgement of people, because it could happen to anyone on any day.”

She has interacted with several patients whose lives have changed since coming to VIM. They’ve become productive, successful and independent people who have left the clinic and got their own health insurance.

“Those are the people who I remember. The one patient who I think of went on to get an education and a great job,” said DeLorenzo.

DeLorenzo said she’ll miss the daily camaraderie with the staff, volunteers and the work atmosphere. There will be IMG_6425an adjustment period due to starting a new routine. Her hobbies, such as painting and creating jewelry, will keep her busy.

“It’ll be interesting to see what I will do every day. Whenever I think about the clinic, I’ll have to visit,” said DeLorenzo. With that being said, DeLorenzo has decided to return as a volunteer nurse. We couldn’t be happier.

DeLorenzo received her Bachelor of Science at St. Mary’s School of Nurses in Rochester, New York. She continued her education at the University of Miami, where she earned her Master in Education. She worked at Mercy Hospital for 18 years and at Myers Community Hospital for nine years. DeLorenzo worked at Martin Health System for eight years as an operating room nurse before she began her career at VIM.

The VIM Clinic provides free comprehensive medical care to uninsured Martin County residents. Individuals must have an income of $24,120 or less to qualify. For additional information, call 772-463-4128.