June 23, 2010

STUART, Fla. — “There is a crisis in medical care.”

With that statement, Howard Voss, MD, Medical Director of the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic, launched the 2011 gala fund-raising campaign before a record committee of nearly 40 volunteers.

Speaking to the gathering of medical practitioners, community members and business leaders, Dr. Voss emphasized the critical need for the VIM Clinic to continue providing free, basic medical care to Martin County residents. For Americans with health insurance, Dr. Voss said, “there is no crisis — there is only brilliant medical care.”

“But if you are under-served and you’re making $20,000 or less,” he continued, you’re at a much higher risk of dying from hypertension, high cholesterol and Type II diabetes, “three diseases that are are eminently treatable.”

The first VIM Clinic black-tie gala was in 2001, and the annual event now generates half of the clinic’s $600,000 operating budget, Dr. Voss told the June 21 committee kick-off party. The VIM Clinic has been providing quality, comprehensive medial care to Martin County residents since 1995, and the need continues to grow. Mary Fields, VIM Clinic Executive Director, noted that patient visits have increased by 45 percent since 2009.

Dorothea Glass, MD, Immediate Past President of The Friends of VIM Clinic, said the clinic’s patients “are the working poor and unemployed who cannot afford medical insurance and do not qualify for government programs.”

The Friends of VIM is the organization responsible for the clinic’s annual budget. Dr. Glass said patients are typically the people who enhance the qualify of life of Martin County residents every day. “These are the people who do our landscaping, serve us coffee and take care of our children.”

The theme for the Jan. 29, 2011, VIM Clinic Gala is “Broadway Stars.” Over the coming months, gala committee members will be organizing support among sponsors, donors, underwriters and the community.

The gala committee is co-chaired by Vickie Dodds, ARNP, who works part-time at VIM Clinic, and Stephen Dodds, MD. They challenged the volunteers to strive for the “aggressive but achievable” goal of surpassing the success of the 2010 gala.

Noting that VIM Clinic patients have received treatment for brain tumors, undergone cardiac bypass surgeries and obtained other life-saving procedures at no cost, Dr. Voss emphasized that the “big three” diseases — hypertension, high cholesterol and Type II diabetes  — “are killing people all over our county, but not in Martin County, Florida.”

“And why?” he asked. “Because of every one of you. So on behalf of our patients and staff, and the volunteers in our clinic, thank you all very much. You don’t know how much good you do.”

For more information about the Broadway Stars Gala, to volunteer on the committee or to help in any way, please contact Margie Braunstein at the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic by calling (772) 463-4128 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (772) 463-4128      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Ext. 211, or by emailing her at [email protected]

Media Contact:

Debi Pelletier
Communications & Marketing Coordinator

Volunteers in Medicine Clinic
(772) 463-4128 Ext 215

[email protected]