Volunteers in Medicine Celebrates First Anniversary
By Cyndi Byars // April 29, 2012
(Images By Cyndi Byars)
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine celebrated the one-year anniversary of their office with an open house.
Those in attendance included Paul Ringenberger, Irene Theriault, Kathy Vanberby, Era Singer, Dr. Bob Callahan, Martha Mayes and Cheryl Cervola.
The not-for-profit organization provides free medical, dental, and chiropractic care to the uninsured of Brevard County.
The appointment based, non-emergency clinic focuses on basic primary medical and dental care. Wellness education is also an important component.
Ever since the group was formed in 2009, the ranks of volunteer providers have grown from 10 to 88.
“When Volunteers in Medicine first opened, our patient waiting list was backlogged two months. Now, our waiting list is just two weeks long, due to an increase in volunteer providers,” said Cheryl Cervola, Volunteer Director.
“We started with four providers. We are fortunate to now have 88 volunteer doctors, dentists, and nurses. With the growing demand for services, we welcome additional medical providers to volunteer their time” added Paul Ringenberger, President of Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine.
Those Interested In Volunteering Can Log On To SpaceCoastVolunteersinMedicine.org
Because of the growing number of uninsured patients in Brevard who cannot afford health care, Dr. Mitchell Greenberg, Gene List, Sister Clara and a number of other volunteers formed Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine in 2009. After opening an office in April, 2011, it took Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine just 9 months to give away $500,000 worth of free medical and dental care.
Non-Profit Seeks More Office Space
The increased need for medical services leaves the group needing more office space.
“The national office for VIM clinics states that most volunteer clinics – within three years of opening – will need twice the amount of office space they start with. We are fortunate to have a 4,800 square foot office, but could easily use a 12,000 square feet of space” Ringenberger said.
There are many ways the community can help the organization. Donations of supplies such as guaze squares, paper towels and toothbrushes are greatly appreciated.
Volunteer opportunities include joining the founder’s society, volunteering, and supporting fundraising events. On Saturday, May 5th Volunteers in Medicine will hold a “Make Us an Offer We Can’t Refuse” fundraising thrift sale.
Billed as “The neatest, biggest, coolest thrift sale of the decade!”, the sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 5th at Dr. Steven Vanderby’s office at 4030 Minton Road, Melbourne. The community is invited to attend, bargain hunt, and help raise funds for the not-for-profit.
Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine is located at 1460 Baytree Drive NE in Palm Bay. For information, log on to SpaceCoastVolunteersinMedicine.org or call 321-914-0915.