Volunteers In Medicine Holds Community Luncheon

By  //  September 1, 2013

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Space Coast Volunteers In Medicine

ABOVE VIDEO: Volunteers at Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine create a “Culture of Care” of the organization.  

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — The Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine hosted it’s 4th Annual Fellowship luncheon to celebrate SCVIM’s accomplishments, and announce the organization’s initiatives for the future.

Paul Ringenberger

Paul Ringenberger

“A handful of us came together five years ago to create a community, free clinic, strictly for the uninsured,” said Paul Ringenberger, the outgoing Executive Director and founder of SCVIM.

“We are not a federally supported program, we are a clinic staffed by volunteers where all services are provided free of charge to those who really need help.”

SCVIM is a registered 501(c) 3 not for profit organization providing free medical, dental and chiropractic care to the uninsured of Brevard County. It is an appointment based, non-emergency clinic focused on basic primary medical and dental care.

AREA NON-PROFITS CELEBRATE SUCCESS OF SCVIM   

Father Robert Hefner of St Josephs Catholic Church in Palm Bay led the group in prayer followed by a speech by family physician Dr. Stephanie Haridopolis who is the honorary chair of the Friends of SCVIM, and is the incoming president of the Brevard Medical Society.

Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos

Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos

Many local non-profit leaders attended the luncheon like Dick “Lovi” Lovisone of Family Promise of Brevard and John Farrell of Daily Bread.

“This is a great event and we are honored to attend,” said Lovisone.

The Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine ‘Culture of Caring’ begins with a special group of people including doctors, dentists and staff who volunteer their time to improve the ‘Quality of Life’ of the uninsured in our community.

John Farrell of Daily Bread and Dick 'Lovi" Lovisone of Family Promise of Brevard. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

John Farrell of Daily Bread and Dick “Lovi” Lovisone of Family Promise of Brevard. (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

“Over the years of practicing medicine, I have seen how much of a need there is for the services that SCVIM provides,” said Haridoplois.

“Sister Clara and I shared an office together and that is how I learned about SCVIM. I quickly realized that SCVIM is the kind of organization that I wanted to be involved with. We are blessed to be one of only seven counties in Florida that has this kind of organization.”

VOLUNTEERS ARE DRIVING FORCE 

Dr. Patricia Zylman, who is one of the main volunteers with the organization, spoke passionately about what SCVIM now needs to further its goals.

Patricia Zylman

Dr. Patricia Zylman

“We now need more and better tools to provide these services,” said Zeylman.

Dental care for the uninsured in Brevard is a critical issue.

“Children have died in this county during the past 10 years from dental infections, so that is why SCVIM is so important,” said dental hygienist and volunteer at SCVIM Jennifer Hosburgh.

Kathy Vanderby, left, is currently the office administrator for SCVIM’s chief medical officer, Dr. Steven J. Vanderby.

Kathy Vanderby, left, is currently the office administrator for SCVIM’s chief medical officer, Dr. Steven J. Vanderby.

Kathy Vanderby is currently the office administrator for SCVIM’s chief medical officer, Dr. Steven J. Vanderby.

The Michigan native is no stranger to volunteerism. Vanderby has worked with the Women’s Center, Hang Up ‘N Drive and was the volunteer coordinator for ABCs Extreme Make Over Home Edition.

“I knew I wanted to be a part of this great program and I knew my husband, Steve, could serve in some capacity as a volunteer health provider,” said Kathy Vanderby.

Former Brevard County Commissioner Nancy Higgs, left, and National Health Review Publisher Cynthia Cintron Calhoun (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

Former Brevard County Commissioner Nancy Higgs, left, and National Health Review Publisher Cynthia Cintron Calhoun (SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

“I’m so pleased that he’s the clinic Chief Medical Officer and I’m on this terrific board.” Kathy is active coordinating and marketing the various SCVIM fund raising events.

Former Brevard County Commissioner, Nancy Higgs, also attended the luncheon in support of SCVIM along with National Health Review Publisher Cynthia Cintron Calhoun.

“This is a great organization and a model for the culture of caring,” said Calhoun.

JOINER NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Audrey Joiner has replaceed Ringenberger as the executive director, who is stepping down after five years of organizing, opening and running Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine.

Audrey Joiner

Audrey Joiner

Joiner, a  Nurse Practitioner, came to SCVIM as a volunteer in 2012 and then became the medical officer manager. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and a Master of Science in Nursing Administration, as well as Adult Health.

Joiner worked as a Nurse Practitioner in a local cardiology practice and later for Health First Home Care. She is also an adjunct faculty for Eastern Florida State College.

Married to Stephen Joiner, the couple has two children, Austin and Chelsey. Joiner is on the mission leadership team at Georgianna United Methodist church and enjoys running, triathlons, traveling and working on the family farm in Kentucky.

“God has led me to this challenge and he will lead you too. This is exactly what I was looking for and I am so glad I’m here. It’s all god’s network and it’s my honor to be here.”

“Our challenge is to get the word out more and make more people aware of what we are doing,” said Joiner.

“God has led me to this challenge and he will lead you too. This is exactly what I was looking for and I am so glad I’m here. It’s all god’s network and it’s my honor to be here.”

$2.5 MILLON WORTH OF SERVICES PROVIDED

During Ringenberger’s tenure leading Brevard’s free community clinic for the uninsured, over 6,500 patient visits took place since doors opened on April 25, 2011.

Janice Everson and Andy Schirmacher of Congregations for Community Action (Space Coast  Daily image)

Janice Everson, left, and Andy Schirmacher of Congregations for Community Action.(SpaceCoastDaily.com image)

In terms of value, based on State of Florida Department of Health calculations, SCVIM has generated over $2.5 million in services to the community.  And all services have been provided to patients free of charge, with no cost to the taxpayer.

“We are the real home of affordable care,” said Ringenberger.

While Ringenberger will continue to assist as a volunteer in a development capacity and serve on the Board of Directors, he believed it was time for a change and new energy and ideas were needed to grow the program.

“It has definitely been a challenge, I’m glad we have helped those in need but I’m ready for a new challenge,” said Ringenberger.  “I plan on doing some writing and getting involved in media production.”

Dr. Mitchel Greenberg

Dr. Mitchel Greenberg

Ringenberger spoke emotionally and passionately about his friend and main supporter of SCVIM – Dr. Mitchel Greenberg, who has been a chiropractor in Melbourne and Merritt Island since 1984.

“The truth is that the joy and appreciation from our patients at Space Coast Volunteers In Medicine is so much better payment than money could ever be that I almost feel selfish because I feel like I get more out of helping than those that we help,” said Greenberg.

The Law Firm of Nance Cacciatore sponsored and provided the luncheon.

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