Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine: Nod to Nonprofits Tour Series
Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine
When a few key Watson Clinic physicians realized that a great number of Polk County community members were medically underserved, with no access to healthcare, they began to look for a solution. Led primarily by these physicians and the Watson Clinic Foundation, Lakeland came together to find a unique way to meet the healthcare challenges of the greater Lakeland community.
Inspired by the Volunteers in Medicine model started by Jack McConnell on Hilton Head Island, Dr. Glen Barden brought the idea to Lakeland and the dream became a reality.
On Valentine’s Day 2001, Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine opened its doors in the historic John Cox Grammar School on Lakeland Hills Boulevard. Today, LVIM is an independent nonprofit organization governed by a local Board of Trustees.
At LVIM, patients gain a medical home and have access to doctors’ visits, diagnostic testing, lab tests, ultrasound scans and x-rays at no charge. More extensive diagnostics, such as CT’s and MRI’s, are also available through a network of participating ancillary providers who volunteer their facilities, staff and professional time also at no charge to LVIM or the patients. Additionally, LVIM operates a full-service pharmacy, funded by United Way of Central Florida, filling approximately 30,000 prescriptions a year. The Prescription Assistance Program within LVIM secures almost $3 million of brand name prescriptions for patients at no charge. At LVIM, the treatment is free; the care is priceless.